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Phillips Avenue Women’s Protest Not a Riot, Say SFPD Police and Common Sense (Darn, Thinks Noem)

Last night’s peaceful Phillips Avenue march protesting the Alito Court’s overturning of women’s freedom was no riot. That was clear to anyone watching the event, and it was clear to the Sioux Falls Police Department. Despite having shown up after the main march in riot gear to confront the folks who hung around afterward around Lyon Park, the SFPD today reiterated that the event was merely an unlawful assembly (i.e., the women dared exercise their First Amendment rights without asking Mayor TenHaken’s permission) and not a “riot”, despite the breathless post-game coverage from the local TV reporters who seemed desperate to find outbreaks of lawless chaos:

This morning during the daily police briefing, it was learned the protest had been classified as an unlawful assembly rather than a riot. Sioux Falls does have ordinances defining these things. According to the ordinance, a disorderly assembly  means an assembly of two or more persons, some or all of whom are engaged in conduct which threatens the public peace or safety through fighting or violent or threatening behavior, loud language, unreasonable noise, obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic or by littering or breakage. Rioting, as defined by the state of South Dakota is any intentional use of force or violence by three or more persons, acting together and without authority of law, to cause any injury to any person or any damage to property is riot [Anthony Albano, “Sioux Falls Protest: An Unlawful Assembly or a Riot?” KELO Radio, 2022.06.30].

I don’t know what East Coast TV studio celebrating author Kristi Noem is in today, but the Governor is probably disappointed to hear her loyal boys in blue not classify the protestors as rioters. If the SFPBD would just cry, “Riot!” the Governor could invoke her retread riot-boosting law (not the one that got Noem and Jason Ravnsborg whipped in court in 2019; the new one Lee Schoenbeck rewrote for her in 2020 to keep her from losing another court case), root out the ringleaders, charge them with incitement to riot, and make them pay for all those cop gas masks and overtime and general stress and strain on the police budget.

But even the hangers-around after the main march weren’t foolish enough to tickle Noem’s authoritarian trigger. Aside from maybe five named and arrested disorderlies who disregarded the word of mouth and the example of a thousand-plus people who participated in the primary, silent, peaceful protest, Wednesday’s demonstrators didn’t use force or violence. They didn’t injure people or damage property. They just made clear their expectation that South Dakota and the United States restore their freedom… the freedom that Kristi Noem celebrates in word but not deed.

8 Comments

  1. 96Tears 2022-06-30 16:43

    Message to TenHaken: The cops get props!

  2. Donald Pay 2022-06-30 17:02

    Has anyone actually said that march was a riot? Most communities would not even consider it an “unlawful assembly.” There is something called the First Amendment. People have a right to protest without government permission. To be deemed an unlawful assembly law enforcement in most communities are required to announce it as such, and give people ample time to remove themselves. Generally, there has to be some obvious and potentially dangerous activity.

    These sorts of marches happen pretty regularly in Madison, WI. We’re all used to it, and the police generally try to assist the marchers by redirecting traffic. The First Amendment is generally given priority over my need to get across town, which can be frustrating, sure, but that’s the price of having Constitutional rights. Usually it’s high school kids marching to the State Capitol or the school district offices to present their grievances to public servants. “Action civics” in high school and college students tends to be somewhere between loosely planned and spontaneous, and happen on average once or twice a month here. Big marches are planned and people get the required permits.

  3. grudznick 2022-06-30 20:04

    That’s what they do in libbie Sioux Falls too, Mr. Pay. I just hope these you fellows don’t start looting and smashing. Then the cops have to bonk them on the head.

    But marching is fine. grudznick supports the marchers.

  4. Bob Newland 2022-06-30 20:48

    Anyone who gives a monkeytoot about anything is writhing in relief that grudznutz supports the marchers.

  5. All Mammal 2022-07-01 00:40

    I writhed so hard. I must care too much.

    In similarity with Sioux Falls’s need to hit the street, other than RC’s concerned citizens standing still instead of marching and shouting profanities instead of giving the silent treatment (blame the random supporter who thrust the megaphone into my hands), the Rapid City demonstration last Friday at the intersection in front of the federal courthouse building was exactly what it was supposed to be; nice and healthy good trouble. All four corners of the intersection were being picketed and the NW corner, which is a dead end and no traffic comes or goes, is where I was hollering in unison when an officer pulls through a parking lot and parks on the curb, gets out, and cannot help himself; he has to tell someone what to do. Just then, the do not cross signal lights up and the picketers clear the street. The policeman picks out a harmless pip squeak and reminds her she has to get out of the crosswalk when the light changes. We all look, surprised he found any infraction and busted out laughing when we realized an inch’s worth of the toe of the young lady’s shoe was on the white painted line of the crosswalk ladder pattern. We laughed at the man. He would not be able to conclude how any one of us made it as far as we all have in life without him dictating to us how to breathe. Blue’s finest. But hey, we were impressed nobody got their face smeared in the concrete that time, so we were grateful.

  6. RST Tribal Member 2022-07-01 06:07

    Interesting how the inept inbred Republicans were finally given the green light to once again regulate the reproductive end of females, and now, legislatively want to close or restrain the public word generator end. Don’t get me started on the mind control of state public educational institutions as legislated starting with “In God We Trust” to don’t harm the minds and feelings of children with historical realities.

    The females of South Dakota, now, well regulated can voice their opinion in November 2022 as to the kind and type of state and federal governments they want.

    The inept inbred South Dakota Republicans in Washington didn’t want to help veterans from the harms of war. They stood by their man with touching hands who voices the females reproductive parts are for his follies and show of power. Maybe theirs too.

    The South Dakota inept inbred Republicans in trying to quiet groups from talking about laying pipes might have gone a bill to far in stopping anyone from speaking loudly about anything supported by the party in charge of state government.

    Things can be changed in November 2022 or remain the same. Time for vets, women and Native people to enter the voting booth and let their voices be heard. The sparrow has been turned out let’s see how it flies for democracy.

  7. Richard Schriever 2022-07-01 16:39

    RST inspires me to see – Women are “well-regulated” in the US; arms-bearing militia are not. Stick that in your constitutionally guaranteed right to be born pipe and smoke it.

  8. jerry 2022-07-02 03:56

    I would’ve liked to see these women armed with long guns while in the streets. I would call them “Proud to be Women”, and their membership would be inclusive to all women.

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