The Forgotten Right to Petition and to Rebel

Matin Gugino made some important points that should not be forgotten, namely, the American rights to petition and to rebel.

This writer does not condone law breaking and while Matin Gugino was in the wrong place at the wrong time, out after a curfew and interfering with police, this frail peaceful old man should not have been shoved and nearly killed. This is still true even if he was working for some subversive group doing something weird to police body cameras or scanners. (A fact check says he wasn’t.)

In one of his previous YouTube videos, the 75-year-old Buffalo peace activist framed the situation well. In one video he was petitioning a judge for fair treatment of anti-nuclear protesters, but what he said fits the larger situation of current protests.

To paraphrase Gugino, Americans have an essential right everyone seems to have forgotten, a right intended to guard all other rights: the right to complain to the government. If petitions to our officials for changes due to grievances are ignored, if things are not remedied within a certain amount of time, the people are allowed and even expected to rebel.

This is not the way things generally work at this time in the USA, of course, but looking back to our history of individual rights gives a perhaps empowering solution to our current broken system. Consider petitioning to get the right to peacefully petition working, in some legitimate form, once again in our country.

Voting, while important, does not adequately address specific grievances in an effective and timely manner.

Our system is broken in places, but hopefully it is not beyond repair. It is each person’s duty, some feel, to complain or to simply bring things to the attention to those who can make a difference, in hopes of making a better world. 

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