The constant state of protest here in America has brought us to a strange and complex point in our national history.
On one hand, we have to be beaming with pride that our First Amendment is being thoroughly exercised. This is the sort of thing that our founding fathers fought for, and to know that it still works all these decades later is profoundly satisfying.
But, on the other hand, there are a number of issues with the modern political climate that has made these protests difficult to control. Outside agitators are working in the shadows of these demonstrations, hoping to promote their anarchical ideologies and allowing the peaceful protesters to take the fall for them.
The fact that some cities have been dealing with these protests and the clandestine rabble-rousers that they attack for months has also fomented a great deal of stress for police and other authorities who’ve been forced to deal with the crowds.
Now one police force is trying to recoup some of their expenses from an 18-year-old organizer.
After watching thousands of Americans show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Emily Gil, 18, was inspired to hold her own rally at home in Englewood Cliffs.
“It’s an issue we care about. And we notice these issues in our own towns, so we can do something about it,” said Gil.
She also wanted to highlight a lack of affordable housing.
In June, Gil said she notified local officials about the protest and even met with the police chief to iron out logistics.
The protest itself only lasted about an hour and a half, and no trouble was to be had.
A few days later, Gil said she received a letter from Mayor Mario Kranjac, billing her for about $2,500 worth of police overtime used during the protest.
“I was shocked when I read that I had to pay to exercise my First Amendment right,” said Gil, who thinks she was being targeted for her take on affordable housing in the community.
Shockingly, the Mayor stood by the request, comparing the protest to other events in the city in which the police are use to control the crowd.
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