Flash Mob Violence and the Constitution

An interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal today.  When large numbers of San Francisco residents, alerted by cellphone text messaging, appeared  on Valentine’s Day in 2006 to engage in a joyous public pillow fight, they began a yearly tradition that is regretted only by the public officials who are obliged to pay for the disposal of mountains of soggy feathers.

Yet participants in more recent public gatherings, also quickly assembled via electronic messaging, have acted far more dangerously and sometimes lawlessly. In doing so, they have raised difficult policy and legal issues, including questions relating to the role of the First Amendment.

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