The 2012 Arab International Festival took place over Father’s Day weekend this year in Dearborn, Michigan. While “it is the most vibrant time of the year,” according to American Arab Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fay Beydoun, adding that “every year more and more people of all races and cultures are joining us in celebrating our rich heritage,” a Christian group holding signs at the festival was attacked by festival attendees, kicked out by police, then eventually pulled over by a mob of 12 police on their way out.
The Freedom of Assembly is guaranteed under our First Amendment rights: “Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble.” Additionally, it is recognized as a human right, civil liberty, and political freedom. Unfortunately for this group of protestors, they were deemed the dangerous ones and were removed from the festival.
While the video is nearly 23 minutes in length, it gives you a great look from the protestor’s point of view, how they were attacked (and by how many people), and what the police had to say. According to The Blaze, “protesters were depicted as being battered by a constant hail of thrown debris, including water bottles and possibly even stones.” Watch it all unfold in the video (skip ahead to ~9:00 to see the “stoning”):Warning: Video contains strong language and may not be suitable for all audiences.
Unfortunately it’s not clear who “started it all,” but in the end no one really wins. The police could very well face another free speech lawsuit, the Christian group was battered with bottles, crates, water, urine, etc., and the attackers could spend some time in jail. It seems like our rights are deteriorating right before our very eyes, as if we’re going back in time.