People have a right to protest the Quarantine even if it is Dangerous

Simon Innaccone, staff writer

While the country has been on lockdown since mid-March, many disgruntled citizens have taken to the streets to protest their isolation. While some of the characters’ motives are questionable at times this has spawned an interesting proposition. Are they allowed to protest?

While it’s an incredibly dangerous idea, especially since protests are usually large congregations of people in enclosed spaces, they still have the right to do so. This fact has in large part been forgotten by detractors of the groups. In fact, the foundation of the country we are now desperately attempting to save from the virus was always firmly rooted in the preservation of basic rights:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Liberty, as stated by Jefferson in the quote prior, is one of the certain, unalienable rights that all men and women deserve. Liberty allows one the freedom to speak their will, it allows the two sides of this very argument to discourse with one another. So who are we to say, ourselves using the very same right the ‘opposition’ is using, that they cannot protest?

While agreed, it is incredibly unsafe for them to gather and protest, we should not and cannot strike down the very freedoms we cherish in our everyday lives, quarantined or not. The very first amendment of our Constitution states that the legislature cannot prevent the freedom of speech and assembly. If we were to stop these people via legislative means we would be  trampling the very words written by Madison and his congressional constituents.

To allow congress and the current office to stop these protests, which the current administration would never do anyway, would be to give the federal government such immeasurable power that, at its most extreme, could turn this country’s republic into a downward spiral towards the reigns of monarchy we sought to distance from in 1776. 

So as stated before, while the congregation of these people is incredibly dangerous to the population as a whole, we cannot deny them this right. Rather we must enlighten people to the dangers of the current virus. A lot of stigma revolves around it, and a lot of false information perpetuated by other, more biased news sources, feeds this beast of lies. The best we can do is help show these people the truth rather than stomp out their, and in the process, our rights by allowing congress and the federal government to gain such great power.