The better question is: are 'permits to assemble' constitutional? I know it's moot in reality, but we need to be careful about giving more than grudging support to deviations from the Constitution, however necessary they may be.
I agree...somewhat. The problem is that some of these groups have publicly announced their intentions to be violent and destroy property. We've seen them do it.
So what are the police to do? They have just as much obligation to protect innocent bystanders and local property owners. I don't see any problem with requiring a permit in that it gives local authorities time to prepare. In this case the police blundered, failing to issue a disburse warning prior to the arrests. So change the procedures. Discipline the officer in charge. But PAY the demonstrators, who failed to get a permit?! That's going too far.
I work in Washington and am conservative as anyone, but the D.C. police really messed this one up folks. Note that some of the people arrested were BYSTANDERS who happened to be passing the park - in some cases just walking to work - and were rounded up and arrested, without warning, opportunity to leave the scene, etc. That's about as pure a civil rights violation as you're going to find.
You could not be more right Grut!
Just a few more degrees F on that boiling water but many on the FR will not notice because someone else is being boiled.
Peaceful assembly (key word "Peaceful) is and should be protected but like the 4th amendment the government with the aid of sleaze ball lawyers and a not so supreme court are eroding these protections on a daily basis.