Thad Williamson, associate professor of leadership studies and philosophy, politics, economics and law, writes on how activity that was once was part of normal political participation has become criminalized.
“Let's go back to basics.
The most fundamental building block of a democratic society isn't the right to vote. There's voting in Vladimir Putin's Russia, just as there was in the old Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Rather, the essential corequisite of voting rights is free expression of ideas and a cultural climate that encourages such free expression. Without it, holders of power cannot be challenged and the possibility of a society governed by the open exchange of ideas among civic equals vanishes. Our rights to peaceably assemble and petition the government firmly are encoded in the Bill of Rights.”