Officially known as the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, the Trespass Bill creates a roving “bubble” zone or perimeter around select government officials and dignitaries (anyone protected by the Secret Service), as well as any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.”
One of the key ingredients in a democracy is the right to freely speak our minds to those who represent us. In fact, it is one of the few effective tools we have left to combat government corruption and demand accountability. But now, even that right is being chipped away by statutes and court rulings which weaken our ability to speak freely. Activities which were once considered a major component of democratic life in America are now being criminalized. Making matters worse, politicians have gone to great lengths in recent years to evade their contractual, constitutional duty to make themselves available to us and hear our grievances. That is what representative government is all about.
...Specifically, the bill, which now awaits President Obama’s signature, levies a fine and up to a year in prison against anyone found in violation, and if the person violating the statute is carrying a “dangerous weapon,” the prison sentence is bumped up to no more than ten years. Thus, a person eating in a diner while a presidential candidate is trying to score political points with the locals could be arrested if government agents determine that he is acting “disorderly.” Mind you, depending on who’s making the assessment, anything can be considered disorderly, including someone exercising his right to free speech by muttering to himself about a government official. And if that person happens to have a pocketknife or nail clippers in his possession (or any other innocuous item that could be interpreted by the police as “dangerous”), he could face up to ten years in prison.[more]