As Satanists, I think we should all be enraged when the authorities, those who are supposed to uphold the law, overstep its boundaries and become criminals themselves. Please read: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/08/13/town.curfew.ap/index.html
This is one of the rare times I am absolutely ashamed to say that I live in Arkansas, and one of the even rarer times when I actually agree with the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently, the mayor, police, and citizens of Helena-West Helena think that “some infringement on constitutional rights (such as the right of peaceful assembly, right to travel freely, and freedom from unreasonable searches or detention) is OK,” provided that crime levels are high enough. In effect, the mayor has declared a state of martial law, complete with curfew and heavily armed paramilitary forces on patrol.
“Papers, please. Papers.”
That law-abiding citizens should be subject to this sort of treatment simply to curb illegal activity is absolutely outrageous, and steps far beyond the legal authority given to a mayor, no matter what the situation. Helena-West Helena is not in a state of war, nor is it experiencing a natural disaster: even if it was, the mayor does not have the right or authority to declare martial law. The law does not afford police the right to stop anyone and everyone, for any and every reason, whenever and wherever they so choose.
By encouraging, or even allowing, this unconstitutional overstepping of legal bounds, the citizens of Helena-West Helena are setting a dangerous precedent. If the mayor and police see the current situation as permissible, what is their response going to be to future issues, such as protests, riots, even political rallies? Helena-West Helena is already practically a police state, so what’s to stop the further brutal suppression of law abiding citizens? As I said before, “Papers, please. Papers.”
My advice to the citizens of Helena-West Helena (and everyone else, for that matter):
Know your rights.
You have the right to remain silent. Look it up, but I believe the only pieces of information you are required to provide is your name, age, and your license, registration, and proof of insurance if you are driving at the time of your detainment.
You have the right to an attorney should exercising your right to silence cause the police to arrest you – in fact, the first words out of your mouth if arrested should be “I want a lawyer. I will not answer any questions until I have consulted with one. And I want my phone call.”
You have the right to deny police the permission to search your person, your vehicle, and your home.
And you have a right to own a firearm, if acquired legally, and the right to use said firearm in self-defense against the criminals who apparently are plaguing your town. I would recommend you do so, if you have any desire to repeal the police-state that is currently in existence. The criminals will be much less likely to shoot up your home if they know that they will be shot back.