In Kentucky, as in Arkansas, security officers are restricting access to the state Capitol to demonstrators in the Poor People’s Campaign.
In Kentucky, at least, two people in the campaign for justice were admitted. Yesterday, the Arkansas Capitol police arrested five people for refusing to leave the Capitol during working hours when denied admittance to the building. The secretary of state’s cops cited a vague threat to shut the building down as pretext for the bust. It sounds like prior restraint of First Amendment rights to me. At a previous Capitol visit, Poor People were arrested for kneeling in the rotunda. They also were arrested earlier for refusing to leave the Justice Building during office hours.
Trials on the stacked charges lie ahead — trespassing (trespassing in a public building!), disorderly conduct (speech! disorderly!) and obstructing governmental operations (demonstrably, governmental operations continued at both the Capitol and Justice Building.)
“Everybody’s Got the Right to Live” says the national campaign modeled on civil rights demonstrations 50 years ago. But some — lobbyists, felonious and immoral legislators — have more rights than others when it comes to entering the Arkansas Capitol.