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Mounting threats to a particularly important democratic right have not received nearly enough attention.In the United States, the Trump administration has asserted a prerogative to recover cleaning fees after demonstrations, effectively allowing the government to charge protesters for exercising their constitutional right. And in an even more blatant effort to curtail public dissent, the administration has tried to bar assemblies from 80 percent of the sidewalks around the White House.Some might not think that hollowing out the right of assembly is as serious as other threats to democracy, not least partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression.Even in many well-functioning democracies, public authorities try to keep crowds away from official government buildings.Nonetheless, assembly in physical space fulfills functions for democracy that online activity, however permanent or passionate, simply cannot.It is a distinct and powerful form of democratic action.Those concerned about threats to democracy today should pay heed to the threat against physical gatherings.
What’s left of the populist left?
Pepsi, Coke or something with fizz
Reviving civil disobedience as
a form of democratic ‘resistance’
Can movement politics renew European democracy?
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