"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."
So there it is. The First Amendment.
Then why have 34 states proposed 81 laws to curb protests? Why have at least three of them – Florida, Oklahoma and Iowa – passed anti-protest bills into law?
Holy crap. Those bills appear to be in direct contrast to the First Amendment. They will no doubt draw lawsuits from all over the place declaring their unconstitutionality, if they haven't already. Yay, civil rights lawyers.
The proposed bills apparently are emanating from mostly Republican controlled states or Republican controlled state legislatures. You don't have to scratch deep into the dirt to ascertain why this is happening: after last year's summer of discontent, with demonstrations ranging from coast-to-coast (as well as internationally) following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American murdered by policeman Derek Chauvin, there is intent to hinder and discredit the Black Lives Matter movement supporting police reform.
So apparently, the best way to dismantle BLM is to take away their fully American right to protest, as defined in the Constitution.
I suppose the state legislatures proposing these bills could argue from a states rights standpoint because it's Congress that "shall make no law...," but that argument would probably butt heads with the supremacy clause found in Article VI that shows federal laws supersede state laws. Yay, Constitution. Yay, lawsuits.
I'm assuming these anti-protest bills are designed to cut down, if not eliminate, perceived violence and property damage that generally comes with passionate protest. Interestingly enough, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) have found 93 percent of last year's BLM protests to have been peaceful (see here). So there's that. Unless, of course, you want to accuse BLM of being antifa in disguise, thereby renewing your QAnon membership.
In some of these anti-protest bills, there exist clauses absolving motorists from running over protesters who might be blocking streets. That's horrendous. It's a bill sanctioning attempted murder. Violence to stop protests about violence? Sheesh.
As suggested above, the right to protest is as an American institution as baseball. You need reminders? The Boston Tea Party (destruction of property), women's suffrage, the Viet Nam-era anti-war demonstrations (Kent State comes to mind), the Abolitionist movements prior to the Civil War, the March on Washington that powered the civil rights movement of 1963, even the Triangle Shirtwaist fire protest of 1911 that brought out 80,000 protesters and ultimately changed labor and safety laws.
The list is endless. And defiantly American.