Failure to disperse.  People are being arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight, for failure to disperse.  They are allegedly being “allowed” to protest, but they have to keep moving.  No sitting down, no standing still, or you will be arrested, or so they are reporting tonight on CNN.

Please let me be brutally frank.   How is that a crime and who the hell do these people think they are?  When was the bill of rights repealed?

In the United States there is a document called the Constitution for the United States which has a bill of rights, and I quote here the exact text from the national archives: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Oh, but wait, we’re talking about Missouri, a place that has not always been unified in feeling comfortable about being a part of the United States.  It did, after all, have two state governments during the American civil war, one for each side.  But you’ll remember from the US constitution that states are supposed to be accepted only if they present a “republic” form of government when they apply for admission, so what does the Missouri constitution say?  Let’s quote from the state of Missouri’s own resource on the topic: “That the people have the right peaceably to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances by petition or remonstrance.”

Now, that is a big bill of rights they have in Missouri which includes some unusual exceptions, and some very strange provisions.  For example, in 2008, Missouri saw fit to add an article to its bill of rights asserting that English is the official language of the state.  For example, section 23 would be a strong right to keep and bear arms if not for its prohibition on concealed carry.  A juror cannot be refused from service because of gender, but any woman may be excused from jury duty.   Ok, so much for free speech, for bearing arms, and for equal protection under the law regardless of gender, but where is the exception for the right to assemble?

Where does it say that the police, or the national guard, or anyone in government, has the authority, the properly constituted authority, to make people march around if they wish to “assemble”?  Very simply, the Missouri constitution contains no such language.

Now, as an anarchist, I knew that all along.  After all, there can be no properly constituted authority to do anything that is an infringement by one person on another’s liberty.  When a law, government official, or constitution asserts such a power, it isn’t proper authority, it is usurpation.  Evidently, for some time, there have been quite a few usurpations in Ferguson, Missouri.  Indeed, the examples cited above indicate that the entire Missouri state constitution is full of fail and usurpations.

People have a right to protest, to petition those in power over them for redress of their grievances, to assemble wherever they please and however they please.  If people have to keep moving, then what about people with limited mobility?  The “failure to disperse” claim is nonsense.  That isn’t a crime, it is a usurpation.

Obedience to the law, like ignorance of the law, would be no defence.  If we are to believe the only independent witness to the death of Mike Brown, and if we are to understand the released information from the independent forensic pathologist, Brown complied with police officer Darren Wilson’s instructions to stop, raised his hands, and was in the process of kneeling when he was shot and killed.  Shot, we are told, at least six times, which seems rather more force than would be necessary to subdue anyone.

There is no law and there cannot be any order within a governmental framework.  The law excludes those in power from any possible wrongdoing – if it did not, Darren Wilson would be under arrest right now.  Instead, quite a few protesters are under arrest.  The system prevents peaceful and spontaneous order from arising because allowing people to live, trade, and work together would not be in the best interests of those in power.

Governments, including the USA government and the state government of Missouri, use taxes and regulations to prevent free markets from finding market clearing prices.  They impose surplus order to keep those who claim authority in power.  So, it doesn’t make much sense to protest, except to illustrate how little you matter to those in power.

During the coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri street demonstrations, CNN ran a short advertisement for the state of New York showing a map with little dots representing tax free zones. Why, a free enterpriser might ask, have tax free zones all over the state where new businesses would not pay any taxes for ten years rather than, say, reduce taxes state-wide to, oh, I don’t know, zero for all businesses?  The answer, of course, is “who benefits is who matters.”

Who benefits from having certain places be tax free?  Those who own land near those places.  Those who get to choose which places.  The average person looking to start a business activity, or simply wanting to be left alone, that person doesn’t benefit.  Indeed, there are widespread accusations that this “plan” is full of fraud, isn’t attracting long-term investment, and is generally bad for New York.  It certainly doesn’t make a bitcoin entrepreneur want to locate there, huh?

So, how should people react to usurpations?  Not by obeying, certainly.  Not by raising their hands and surrendering to those in authority, clearly, if we are to judge by two thousand unarmed persons gunned down by police in the USA from 1990 to 1999, alone.  Fatal encounters with police are everywhere.

Protest if you think you should, but don’t expect it to do much good.  More than nine thousand protesters have been arrested in the USA since September 2011.  Many have been brutally beaten in the process.  Being in a cage isn’t going to help you, at all.

Consider, instead, getting together the tools you need.  Tools for privacy, anonymity, financial freedom, self defence.

Consider, please, the words of JRR Tolkien: “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.”

Failing to disperse isn’t a crime, but it may be punishable by death.  Many things people do every day are not properly crimes, and can get them killed if someone in law enforcement decides to shoot first and justify it in court if they are ever taken to court.  Failing to have tools and technologies for your own defence, for your own freedom, for your own privacy, for your own anonymity?  Those are errors in judgement.

You know better.  Choose wisely.  Choose freedom.