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By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

Roland S. Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House.” He is a commentator for TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, “Washington Watch with Roland Martin.”

It’s downright disgusting to listen to conservative and Republican lawmakers, presidential candidates, business owners and media commentators use such vitriol to describe the Occupy Wall Street protesters as hell-bent on destroying America.

How in the world can anyone even form their lips to say such a thing when this very country was founded on the basis of dissent?

Self-professed rodeo clown Glenn Beck castigates the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but he’s always running off at the mouth about the Founding Fathers and how brilliant they were.

Without dissent and protest, there is no United States of America! It’s as if these folks never picked up a history book to understand how this nation was formed. The very notion of a United States of America started with someone saying, writing and screaming, “Enough is enough!” And when more and more of the early settlers became enraged at the heavy-handed actions of the British, that’s when we were on our path to the American Revolution.

Do any of these so-called strict constructionists even read the very U.S. Constitution they love to wave in the faces of their critics?

Every American, no matter if you’re young or old; rich or poor; red state or blue state; Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American; has the freedom to assemble and freedom of speech, which is at the heart of these protests.

In this same space, I praised the tea party for not sitting around and complaining. Instead, they organized and mobilized to affect the political discourse in the Republican Party and have definitely had their voices heard. I may disagree with a number of things the tea party advocates, but there is no way I would condemn them for doing it. As Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said, “The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.”

It’s increasingly clear that some Americans love to talk a good game about protests, yet hate it when someone who opposes their views decides to stand up and be heard.

Remember all of those political voices championing the people of Iran taking to the streets to protest? How about Tunisia? Egypt? Libya? Bahrain? What would this world be without protest?

We would have never seen freedom in Eastern Europe were it not without the people there, in the words of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, being “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Praise God that the children of South Africa, led by the African National Congress, didn’t ignore the calls of history. If so, Nelson Mandela would be dying in jail and freedom would have never ended apartheid.

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