John Perry Barlow and Our Constitutional Rights
John Barlow was arrested last year and his case is finally coming to trial. I loved reading his post about the experience because he is such a great writer, but I wish it had all not happened. Sooner or later, all of use are going to have to put of a defense, as over-reaching law-enforcement leads to mission creep.
Barlow says that he would have just pled guilty and put the entire incident behind him but for:
the recognition that unconstitutional behavior by the authorities is constrained only by the peoples' willingness to contest them.
Regarding law-enforcement and mission-creep: I don't mean all cops. I like the cops in my neighborhood, for example; and I especially like them when they remind my nieghbors that "hanging around" and "being homeless" isn't a crime.
Regarding contesting authoritarian law-breaking: We have to contest rights violations when we can, because most of the time, we just can't. Most people I know will give up every civil and constitutional right so that they can keep their jobs. The corporate Human Resources system is pretty much a picture of what happens without a constitution. And remember that the Californian Constitution gives us more rights than the U.S. Constitution. In California, we have the right to privacy. Even employees at the Univesity of California have rights to privacy, which is something that my friends in the "private sector" find unbelievable.