Americans rise up on the anniversary of the first battle in the American Revolution

Once upon a time, every American child knew about the first battle of the American Revolution, fought at Lexington and Concord, in Massachusetts.  Even if they hadn't had a history teacher drill the date into them, they knew the opening lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride."  Published in 1861, just months before the Civil War started, its first verse began, "Listen, my children, and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, / On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five."

The poem tells how Paul Revere rode through the Massachusetts towns of Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, warning that the British Regulars were coming to seize the patriots' guns and arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock.  With this warning, patriots in the region massed and, on April 19, met with the British at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  Although the initial battle resulted in eight patriots getting killed, eventually, almost 2,000 Minutemen arrived and drove the British into a permanent defense in Boston.

That same Minutemen spirit is animating Americans who do not want to (or cannot) stay locked forever in their homes.  In San Clemente, California, city authorities tried to stop skateboarding (an activity that requires social distancing) by bringing in tractors to fill the skate parks with sand.  Their efforts backfired when skateboarders — young men who are not big believers in bowing down to authority — used shovels to remove the sand and sculpt dirt bike paths: 

In Boise, Idaho, citizens began a spontaneous protest when police arrested a woman who sat alone in a closed, otherwise empty playground:

In Los Angeles, people aren't bothering to protest; they're just showing up.  The best evidence of this is the fact that the Los Angeles freeways, which were empty a few weeks ago, are now again filling with traffic.  This image shows the freeways at the height of the shutdown:

And this is what's happening now:

Time helpfully put together a montage showing angry Americans revisiting the spirit of the American Revolution and telling their governments that the policy of "we had to destroy the country in order to save it" is not an acceptable viewpoint in America:

One of the biggest protests was the one held in Michigan on April 17.  Leftists hated that protest, claiming that it was an Astroturf exercise that Betsy DeVos's family funded.  The media also published photos purporting to show a protester with a Nazi flag at the rally.  In fact, it was a picture of a Bernie-supporter during a February rally in Idaho.

Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer originally threatened to increase the state's lockdown because of the protest, she reversed herself and promised to begin opening the state by May 1:

In New York City, there's a uniquely New York protest taking place.  In response to Mayor Bill de Blasio's setting up a hotline to allow snitches to report on people violating social distancing rules, the hotline was inundated with complaints about the hotline, manifestly false complaints (including one about de Blasio himself), and obscene pictures. 

The First Amendment makes clear that Americans have an inherent right (that is, not a privilege that government bestows, but a right born in them) to assemble and protest their government.  While Americans have always acknowledged the government's power to place some constraints on those rights, the government must have an extremely good reason for doing so.

When the Wuhan virus seemed poised to escalate into a new Black Death, Americans were willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt.  Now, as governments seem less interested in "flattening the curve" and more interested in imprisoning Americans until the day the Wuhan virus vanishes from the Earth, Americans are becoming as fed up as they were in April 1775, when the British were imposing arbitrary and capricious laws on them and stifling their economic opportunities.  It's good to know that we are the heirs of that same yearning for freedom.

Once upon a time, every American child knew about the first battle of the American Revolution, fought at Lexington and Concord, in Massachusetts.  Even if they hadn't had a history teacher drill the date into them, they knew the opening lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride."  Published in 1861, just months before the Civil War started, its first verse began, "Listen, my children, and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, / On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five."

The poem tells how Paul Revere rode through the Massachusetts towns of Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, warning that the British Regulars were coming to seize the patriots' guns and arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock.  With this warning, patriots in the region massed and, on April 19, met with the British at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  Although the initial battle resulted in eight patriots getting killed, eventually, almost 2,000 Minutemen arrived and drove the British into a permanent defense in Boston.

That same Minutemen spirit is animating Americans who do not want to (or cannot) stay locked forever in their homes.  In San Clemente, California, city authorities tried to stop skateboarding (an activity that requires social distancing) by bringing in tractors to fill the skate parks with sand.  Their efforts backfired when skateboarders — young men who are not big believers in bowing down to authority — used shovels to remove the sand and sculpt dirt bike paths: 

In Boise, Idaho, citizens began a spontaneous protest when police arrested a woman who sat alone in a closed, otherwise empty playground:

In Los Angeles, people aren't bothering to protest; they're just showing up.  The best evidence of this is the fact that the Los Angeles freeways, which were empty a few weeks ago, are now again filling with traffic.  This image shows the freeways at the height of the shutdown:

And this is what's happening now:

Time helpfully put together a montage showing angry Americans revisiting the spirit of the American Revolution and telling their governments that the policy of "we had to destroy the country in order to save it" is not an acceptable viewpoint in America:

One of the biggest protests was the one held in Michigan on April 17.  Leftists hated that protest, claiming that it was an Astroturf exercise that Betsy DeVos's family funded.  The media also published photos purporting to show a protester with a Nazi flag at the rally.  In fact, it was a picture of a Bernie-supporter during a February rally in Idaho.

Although Gov. Gretchen Whitmer originally threatened to increase the state's lockdown because of the protest, she reversed herself and promised to begin opening the state by May 1:

In New York City, there's a uniquely New York protest taking place.  In response to Mayor Bill de Blasio's setting up a hotline to allow snitches to report on people violating social distancing rules, the hotline was inundated with complaints about the hotline, manifestly false complaints (including one about de Blasio himself), and obscene pictures. 

The First Amendment makes clear that Americans have an inherent right (that is, not a privilege that government bestows, but a right born in them) to assemble and protest their government.  While Americans have always acknowledged the government's power to place some constraints on those rights, the government must have an extremely good reason for doing so.

When the Wuhan virus seemed poised to escalate into a new Black Death, Americans were willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt.  Now, as governments seem less interested in "flattening the curve" and more interested in imprisoning Americans until the day the Wuhan virus vanishes from the Earth, Americans are becoming as fed up as they were in April 1775, when the British were imposing arbitrary and capricious laws on them and stifling their economic opportunities.  It's good to know that we are the heirs of that same yearning for freedom.