You may have already seen the video about Emily Yates getting arrested with her banjo. If not, you need to watch this video that led to her arrest where she was being very reasonable and peaceful then suddenly got violently cuffed and dragged away.  It is extremely upsetting. Have they changed the constitution to outlaw peaceful assembly and freedom of speech while I have been away?
She is right, apparently we live in a police state. I am amazed and shocked at the injustice done. At the same time I deeply admire her courage to stand up and publicize the sad state into which America has fallen. Not having been an activist to date, I live like most Americans, slightly aware, but indifferent to most stories about rights violations. This arrest, however, involving someone I know personally and furthermore a banjo, jars me from my complacency.
I am not as courageous and influential as Emily, but at least I can broadcast my opinion. If they come after me, I too will go down unwillingly. For now I will use my rights as a US citizen to speak out. I hold conservative values and I am optimistic about music and its abilty to de-fuse conflict. This video is an amazing and eye-opening look at what America MUST NOT BECOME. Why is this not on the front page news?  This story is real, provoking news that needs to be in America’s focus. Violence and the fear of terrorism is the lifeblood of the media, It’s time we put things in perspective and heard some raw truth.Probably 99.999% of people are not terrorists, so why all the fear? Do you cower at the thought of being hit by falling space junk? Our chances of being a victim of a Muslim extremist attack is about the same. I am not against reasonable security measures, but overblown fear has lead to everything from airport delays to restriction of our constitutional rights as clearly evidenced in the video. Fear mongering has been counterproductive to the economy and blinded us to potential solutions.

Her reason for being on that public land was presumably in protest to further US military involvement in Syria. I think most Americans would agree that sending troops to that volatile region without a clear objective would risk worsening and prolonging the suffering there. Neither should we turn our backs and say nothing. In this information age, there are millions of people who can share ideas and offer solutions. Why can’t the US use its massive resources and governmental influence to provide citizens, diplomats and concerned parties in an information driven template for sifting out the best global solutions? If the priorities of the conflicting parties are computed along with the top solutions, a template for specific action can be drawn up and even enforced if necessary at some future point as an extreme last resort. As things are today, we as a country have no business sticking our arsenal in their faces without any sort of clear plan of action. Our diplomatic forces need to listen to all sides of the conflict and sort it out. The tools are right there in front of us.  America, we can become a freer society while telling the rest of the world that we care. I think the computer and internet has given all of us a voice, and I hope we will use it.
Emily  has done us a great service. I hope she wins a huge lawsuit against the arresting agency.
There is more to be said about this, but if you agree, please do something, you can contribute to her defense fund at this link: Emily Yates Defense Fund.