« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. WHITENER. The Chairman says these are all the witnesses he intends to hear. Their statements will be included in the record. (The statements referred to follow:)
NATIONAL MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE :
TO END THE WAR IN VIETNAM,
Washington, D.C., October 2, 1967. Representative John McMILLAN, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. McMILLAN: We have just learned that the Committee on the District of Columbia intends to hold hearings this Wednesday, October 4, 1967 on H.R. 12328 which discusses new penalties for those inciting or engaging in riots in the District.
We would like to request permission to testify before the sub-committee which is holding these hearings. The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam is planning a large march, rally and non-violent direct action for October 21-22. A direct action team which is a project of the National Mobilization has already participated in certain activities in the District. Because of the nature of our activities we are particularly concerned with the language, interpretation and content of H.R. 12328. Over one hundred organizations are part of the National Mobilization and will be most interested in the bill.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. We consider it imperative that we be able to testify. Sincerely yours,
NATIONAL MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE
To END THE WAR IN VIETNAM,
Washington, D.C., October 4, 1967. Representative BASIL WHITENER, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. WHITENER: The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam opposes H.R. 12328 and H. R. 12557 and similar bills to prohibit riots and incitement to riot in the District of Columbia. These bills—under cover of attempting to prohibit riots—appear, in fact, directed towards prohibiting persons from expressing legitimate grievances against present American policies. These bills are being considered at the end of the summer when no riots such as occurred in Detroit or Newark seem likely. However, this legislation is being considered just prior to the planned October 21-22 “Confrontation with the Warmakers” sponsored by the National Mobilization, and just prior to the announced "Stop the Draft and Draft Resistance” week.
The language of both bills is so vaguely phrased that anyone could be accused of violating its provisions if they were considered by a policeman or other official to be posing “a danger" or "a grave danger” of damage or injury to property or persons. There is no clear definition of when such danger might exist or what it might entail.
The Department of Justice has written the bill introduced by Mr. McMillan and to our knowledge it already has support from the Administration. Therefore, since no riot appears likely in the District, we believe that this legislation is intended primarily to limit dissent to the War in Vietnam and is being considered at this time to prevent certain political views from being expressed. We do, then, consider this legislation as discriminatory in intent of its application.
We only learned of this bill Monday, October 2, and our lawyers have not yet had an opportunity to consider its full legal implications. However, upon superficial examination, they believe that these bills raise serious constitutional questions of due process of law, and violations of rights to free assembly and to free speech. Under these circumstances we would like to request permission to testify before this Sub-committee in opposition to the bill, one week to ten days hence so that we might be able to prepare our complete legal and political objections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely yours,
Professor ROBERT GREENBLATT,
National Coordinator, National Mobilization. Mr. WHITENER. We will now go into executive session.
(Whereupon, at 12:00 noon, the Subcommittee proceeded into executive session.)
4 of the Constitution requires the Federal Government to protect each of the States against domestic violence upon application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, when the Legislature cannot be convened. This power and that of the President to use troops in a State to enforce Federal laws are considered in an American Law Division paper entitled: "Power of The President to Use Troops to Deal With Disorders Arising Within the States-Some Selected Materials” A-208-413/228.
The principal purpose of this paper is to set forth the statutes which punish riot or inciting to riot in those forty-one States which have such laws and the Federal Statutes and laws of the District of Columbia which might pertain to riotous conduct. The fact that there are nine States which do not have statutes which specifically make riot or incitement to riot a crime does not warrant the conclusion that such States are inadequately equipped to deal with those who engage in riotous conduct. Seven of these nine States have retained the common law with its criminal penalties for riot and all of the States have laws punishing disorderly conduct, breach of the peace, arson, larceny, assault, battery, manslaughter, murder and the like. These are the crimes which have made a shambles of portions of our cities during the recent riots and no State is without laws to punish them.
The presence or absence of State laws dealing specifically with riot need not be considered in framing a Federal law to punish rioting or inciting to riot. Unless, perhaps, there has been a continued failure' in a particular State to protect its population from the results of riots, the absence of a State statute punishing riot would not ordinarily furnish the Congress with a constitutional basis for punishing purely local rioters or inciters to riot. The decision to be made by the Congress is whether, in the exercise of one or another of its delegated powers, e.g., the commerce power, it can frame a law which will assist the States in preventing or controlling riots without at the same time raising any false hopes that State efforts may be relaxed and without interfering with any rights of individuals or States guaranteed by other provisions of the Constitution.
On July 19, 1967, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 421 which provides a $10,000 fine or five years imprisonment or both upon conviction of using any facility of interstate commerce "with intent to-incite a riot, or to organize, promote, encourage, or carry on a riot ..."and thereafter performing or attempting to perform any overt act organizing, promoting, encouraging or carrying on a riot. Punishment of rioters who had not come from out of state with the intention of inciting would remain the sole province of the States and localities. The report of the House Committee on the Judiciary on H. R. 421 (H. Rept. 472) is reproduced as Appendix B.
UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 18 § 7. Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States defined.
The term "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States”, aş used in this title, includes:
(1) The high seas, any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, and any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, when such vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.
(2) Any vessel registered, licensed, or enrolled under the laws of the United States, and being on a voyage upon the waters of any of the Great Lakes, or any of the waters connecting them, or upon the Saint Lawrence River where the same constitutes the International Boundary Line.
(3) Any lands, reserved or acquired for the use of the United States, and under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction thereof, or any place purchased or otherwise acquired by the United States by consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of a fort, magazine, arsenal, dockyard, or other needful building.
(4) Any island, rock, or key containing deposits of guano, which may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States.
(5) Any aircraft belonging in whole or in part to the United States, or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or any State, Territory, district, or possession thereof, while such aircraft is in flight over the high seas, or over any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 685; July 12, 1952, ch. 695, 66 Stat. 589.)
$ 13. Laws of States adopted for areas within Federal jurisdiction.
Whoever within or upon any of the places now existing or hereafter reserved or acquired as provided in section 7 of this title, is guilty of any act or omission which, although not made punishable by any enactment of Congress, would be punishable if committed or omitted within the jurisdiction of the State, Territory, Possession, or District in which such place is situated, by the laws thereof in force at the time of such act or omission, shall be guilty of alike offense and subject to alike punishment. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 686.) $ 1792. Mutiny, riot, dangerous instrumentalities prohibited.
Whoever instigates, connives, willfully attempts to cause, assists, or conspires to cause any mutiny or riot, at any Federal penal or correctional institution, or without the knowledge or consent of the warden or superintendent, conveys into such institution, or from place to place therein any tool, device, or substance designed to cut, abrade, or destroy the materials, or any part thereof, of which any building of such institution is constructed, or any other substance or thing designed to injure or destroy any building, or any part thereof, of such institution;
Whoever conveys into such institution, or from place to place therein, any firearm, weapon, explosive, or any lethal or poisonous gas, or any other substance or thing designed to kill, injure, or disable any officer, agent, employee, or inmate thereof, or conspires so to do
Shall be imprisoned not more than ten years. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 786.) $ 2193. Revolt or mutiny of seamen.
Whoever, being of the crew of a vessel of the United States, on the high seas, or on any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, unlawfully and with force, or by fraud, or intimidation, usurps the command of such vessel from the master or other lawful officer in command therof, or deprives him of authority and command on board, or resists or prevents him in the free and lawful exercise thereof, or transfers such authority and command to another not lawfully entitled thereto, is guilty of a revolt and mutiny, and shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 800.) § 837. Explosives; illegal use or possession; and, threats or false information
concerning attempts to damage or destroy real or personal property by fire or
explosives. (a) As used in this section
"commerce" means commerce between any State, Territory, Commonwealth, District, or possession of the United States, and any place outside thereof; or between points within the same State, Territory, or possession, or the District of Columbia, but through any place outside thereof; or within any Territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia;
explosive" means gunpowders, powders used for blasting, all forms of high explosives, blasting materials, fuzes (other than electric circuit breakers), detonators, and other detonating agents, smokeless powders, and any chemical compounds or mechanical mixture that contains any oxidizing and combustible units, or other ingredients, in such proportions, quantities, or packing that ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion, by percussion, or by detona
tion of the compound or mixture or any part thereof may cause an explosion. (b) Whoever transports or aids and abets another in transporting in interstate or foreign commerce any explosive, with the knowledge or intent that it will be used to damage or destroy any building or other real or personal property for the purpose of interfering with its use for educational, religious, charitable, residential, business, or civic objectives or of intimidating any person pursuing such objectives, shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than one year, or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both; and if personal injury results shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than ten years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both; and if death results shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life, but the court may impose the death penalty if the jury so recommends.
(c) The possession of an explosive in such a manner as to evince an intent to use, or the use of, such explosive, to damage or destroy any building or other real or personal property used for educational, religious, charitable, residential, business, or civic objectives or to intimidate any person pursuing such objectives, creates rebuttable presumptions that the explosive was transported in interstate or foreign commerce or caused to be transported in interstate or foreign commerce