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Trump hails Obama! How the US president has turned to his predecessor’s ugly methods of repressing dissent to tackle BLM

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The US Constitution’s Bill of Rights makes it crystal clear in the First Amendment to the nation’s founding document, added in 1791, when it states: “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

How, then, to explain what happened on June 1. On that day, President Donald Trump took a bizarre stroll out of the White House and across the little pocket park known as Lafayette Square (a traditional site for protests against everything from cruelty to animals to undeclared US wars on Third World nations) for a publicity photo shoot of him awkwardly holding a Bible in front of a boarded-up historic church.

But prior to that clumsy stunt, his Attorney General William Barr had ordered a brigade of armored-up National Park Police, backed by a unit of National Guard troops, to attack a bunch of peaceful, unarmed and unwarned protesters, driving them from the vicinity with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades.

The protesters had gathered earlier in the day outside the White House, in the park and on H Street in front of the old church, to “peaceably assemble” and to “petition” and make known to the president and Congress their anger and dismay over mounting police violence against black Americans.

It was, at first, hard to understand what was happening and why. Was it just that the president was afraid to have his photo shoot marred by noisy but peaceful protesters? Earlier in the day he had given a strident and intemperate speech calling for state and city officials to “dominate” the streets to shut down protests taking place........

© RT.com