“While every American citizen has a constitutional right to freedom of speech, what we don’t possess is the freedom to commit crimes while carrying out that speech…”
In an attempt to send a message to President Donald Trump, a group of so-called environmental activists vandalized a golf course at Trump National Golf Club in California. Their motivation to carry out these acts was to express their outrage at President Trump and his policies regarding the Environmental Protection Agency. The suspects chose to remain anonymous. The group broke into the golf course on Saturday and used rakes to carve out a message into the ground of the course; the message read, “No more tigers, no more woods.” The people who carried out the vandalism spoke with their local news station to claim responsibility.
I feel like this anonymous group had no choice but to speak with the media to clarify their intent. There’s no way I would have even associated that message with a political statement, let alone one meant for President Trump. There are so many causes out there mixed in with political views and belief systems. The United States is full of diversity and dialogue when it comes to political matters. Some can come to terms with the fact that President Trump is now in office and move forward, hoping for the best for the country. There are also those who have taken up protesting ahead of what they fear could possibly happen. While every American citizen has a constitutional right to freedom of speech, what we don’t possess is the freedom to commit crimes while carrying out that speech.
Not only did this group break the law, they expect to be taken seriously by President Trump. Defacing property owned by the Trump brand is hardly a productive route to take in getting a message to the president. This also reflects poorly on legitimate organizations that deal in environmental issues and those associated with environmental causes. Since this group chose to hide behind the safety of anonymity, many people will lump all environmental groups in the same class as these criminals—which isn’t fair at all. Not everyone chooses to commit crimes or draw attention to themselves in the name of a cause. Most people can articulate their intentions and ideas in healthy ways and through the proper channels. What disturbs me the most is the fact that the person who called to speak with the media used some type of voice-disguising device.
Clearly, these people understand that they will be charged with criminal acts if they are caught. They referred to the vandalism as a “protest piece” and said they felt that it was necessary to take action against President Trump. I can’t even fathom how a person can come to the conclusion that doing things like this will somehow make a person see a certain point of view. If anything, these acts cause people to avoid whatever these groups are selling and run for the hills. No one with any integrity wants to be associated with people who break the law, let alone an audience to their speeches or political messages.
Angelina Newsom is an OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. She has ten years experience in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies Criminal Justice and is still active within the military community.
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