Retired Gen. Russel Honore joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss the protests and acts of civil disobedience that are spreading across the nation in response to the Darren Wilson grand jury decision.
Gen. Honore told Martin, “When it comes to civil disobedience, the protesters need to understand that you do not have to become violent to demonstrate as we saw last night with so many of them occupying the streets.”
“Where we have friction sometimes, is when the police decide, which is the law, you generally can’t walk in the middle of the street and you got some cities, you got to have a protest permit and a right to assemble permit. All that being said, I think what it demonstrated last night that across the country protesters are learning the skills of protesting and being civil disobedient.”
Honore defined civil disobedience as protesters doing something government says they can’t do to “get the government’s attention.” Tuesday night’s action was “a big walk in the street.”
“Got a lot of people’s attention across the country,” Honore said.
When protesters take part in civil disobedient action they need to “be prepared to go to jail” for a what is known as a”short stay.”
Gen. Honore said during an act of civil disobedience if a violent action takes place, “someone throws a rock, or you hurt somebody or you destroy somebody’s property, that’s breaking the law and not only can you go to jail, you could end up in prison depending upon the severity of damage” you caused.
As for law enforcement, General Honore said, “across the country police kind of got the word that people have the right to to assemble and when they go to walking and they block the street, they’re doing civil disobedience.”
“That in itself isn’t a cause to shoot isn’t a cause for shooting citizens.'”
The police are supposed to save and secure and allow them to speak. And when you have an emotionally nationally charged issue like this the best thing they can do is let the people be heard.”
Watch Gen. Russel Honore explain how protesters can take part in civil dissonance and avoid some of the violent actions that took place in Ferguson and how police officers should respond in the clip above, listen to their full conversation below.
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