Can Free Assembly Survive the Internet

Nothias, Toussaint; Bernholz, Lucy

"In summer 2020, Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, and Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, KY, become the settings for two entangled stories playing out in real time. Washington’s story is one of physical demonstration for social justice. Protestors who assemble to oppose police killings of Black people with impunity are preemptively surrounded by tanks, snipers, and police with military-grade weapons. Law enforcement insists its presence is defensive, even as the nation’s Attorney General proactively orders Lafayette Square to be cleared of protestors, the National Guard deploys surveillance planes without approval from the Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security agents compile “intelligence reports” on journalists covering the stories."