The police report from the incident will read that 70 to 75 Texas citizens peacefully gathered to protest outside the Corsicana Country Club to rally against the liberal agenda of Representative Cook, who was holding a fundraiser inside the members-only country club. Yet police officers stood watching throughout the protest, attempting to end the protest by threatening some of us with jail time and eventually contenting themselves by issuing citations to Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan and Texas Right to Life President Jim Graham. The crime that warranted these citations? According to the police, we were in violation of a Corsicana city ordinance that prohibited unauthorized parades of more than 25 persons.
Not surprisingly, many of us were confused as we stood huddled under our umbrellas and canopy tents to find that we were participating in a “parade.” The idea that such an ordinance could be applied to protesting citizens would be comical if it were not so alarming. The U.S. Constitution is explicit in guaranteeing American citizens the right to peaceably assemble and the right to free speech. Undeniably, both of those rights were in use last Friday by those of us gathered in Corsicana. If a city ordinance could strip us of our rights to protest outside a country club, it could just as easily be used to disband pro-life protesters gathered outside an abortion clinic or any other instance of 26 citizens gathering to exercise their first amendment rights.
Thankfully, no one was (illegally) hauled to jail, but the fact that the City of Corsicana sought to protect the political interests of an elected official by issuing citations and attempting to intimidate peacefully protesting citizens should alarm every American. You may be sure that neither THSC nor Empower Texans nor Texas Right to Life will pass up the opportunity to fight for Texans’ constitutional rights.
Despite this attempt to shut us down, we had a very successful protest! Estimated counts suggested that more citizens may have gathered outside in the rain to oppose Representative Cook’s liberal agenda than had gathered inside to attend his fundraiser rally.
This is the power of citizen activists who are willing to stand up to big government. Thanks to everyone who came out to Corsicana last Friday to join us. We are the resistance to big government.
Do you want to see our free speech protected? Please join us in our efforts to Keep Texas Families Free!