Co-conspirators: Khallid and Safir

'We were penned in like animals.'

If someone is urging imminent violence--"Let's crack heads right now"--and he is talking to people who are ready and willing to commit acts of violence, those words at that particular time are not protected speech, said the Supreme Court.

And that is why Senator David Paterson, a Democrat representing Harlem, has urged that Khallid Abdul Muhammad be arrested for "exhorting young people to violence" right then and there as the police bashed their way through the crowd.

But Khallid Muhammad talked of his constitutional right to self-defense. The order to release these riot-clad cops into the crowd was wrong and indefensible. But Muhammad's inciting the crowd to shoot and beat those cops is exactly what the Brandenburg decision was all about.

In the highly inflammatory context of the Million Youth March, the police, under their chain of command, had to do what they were told. And to urge people at that time and place to shoot the police was to go beyond free speech into blood on the streets.

In Ohio, the Grand Dragon had urged that the violence must come at another place at another time. In Harlem, Khallid Abdul Muhammad threw a match into gasoline, and then slid away.

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