Got Gated Community?

The U.S. Social Forum, think G8-style protest crowd kinda theater-esque activism, is scheduled to hit the ATL in late June. Atlanta City Council is already running scared and writing-up rules and regs and ordinances as fast as they can for increased crowd-suppression techniques for APD to freely make use of.

Corral ’em if you can, but riots make for great photo ops. Just ask Angie Merkel.

7 comments

  1. Rick Day says:

    OK this is insane. It will never pass constitutional muster. Although my paralegal training gives me the ability to read laws and ordinances, I lack the case law research, but I’ll give it a constitutional eyeball and the credentialed legal eagles can hack at this ordinance.

    It says the only way a Free Speech Zone (FSZ) can be created for an event is if the organizer decides to give a forum for those who do not agree with their (fill-in-the-blank)? ref 142-31 (a)

    Does it not further say in Section (b) that clothing, buttons and patches were not considered ‘approved’ First Amendment exercise of free speech? 142-43(b)

    And although ‘free’ does it not have to go through 5 MORE city departments; more of the hair-pulling red tape (beside what is already in place, before approval). (d)

    Does it also not say that the organizer can restrict who, and what is (not) appropriate ‘free speech’ for the exercisers of said ‘free speech’ within and without the FSZ? (g)

    Finally does it say that anyone on the grounds with, say, a peace button at a July 4th Republican Rally at Piedmont Park would be asked to leave, and arrested after one warning?(h)

    And does this ordinance not arbitrarily and capriciously grant these powers to designate who can exercise their first amendment right of free speech – not only to the organizer, but to any ‘designated appointee? (j)

    And what if there is not a free speech zone? Can (h) be technically used by any dissenter anywhere there is a “public assembly”?

    What am I missing here?

    Your god Bless Amerika.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    I do not know if this will pass Constitutional muster according to the Supreme Court, but it is clear that it should not.

    How about arresting people that riot and charging them with felonies, and then prosecuting them, instead of holding them in jail for a single day?

    Maybe then the rest of us can maintain our freedom of speach.

  3. Jason O says:

    I was at the Atlanta City Council CDHR Committee meeting when this issue was discussed, (I was actually there for a different agenda item and just happened to hear this issue debated). According to the law department, they understand that 1st Amendment issues are very complicated and this item has been carefully created to try to address both sides of an argument.

    They recognize that during controversial assemblies on public property, there is a likelihood for a lawsuit stemming from abridging someone’s Freedom of Speech Rights. Specifically, the Court has recognized that the people holding the event have the right to not have their message diluted or confused by competing groups who did not pay the fees and petition for the right to hold the event. The individuals holding the event may choose to designate free speech zones where protestors can use whatever means neccesary to convey the opposing view. If they choose not to designate a free speech zone, the whole event is fair game.

    I’m not saying that I support this idea, but it came from the City’s Law Department, not one of the Fascist City Council Members. It is intended to prevent riots from happening, instead of waiting on them to occur and then using the SWAT Team to settle things down.

    I personally think they are retarded for calling these things “Free Speech Zones” as the name implies that free speech is not allowed anywhere else. However, I think they have tried to take the steps to make sure this ordinance is Constitutional.

    The bureaucracy is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    If you don’t want your ideas to be ridiculed or diluted by people having a different view, hold your event on your own land, not public property.

    It is the fault of people who do not hold the violent thugs accountable that cause the riots. The same few anti-globalist whackos cause the problems over and over. If they were in jail, they couldn’t very well do it, and peaceful assembly could be protected.

  5. Jason O says:

    Doug,

    I agree completely with locking up people who break the law. That is also why the organizers are required to pay significant money to hire security when they have an event of this size. This item was specifically intended to be in place before the Pride Festival. Anytime you have an event in Piedmont Park, you are likely to get people from every possible spectrum.

    “If you don’t want your ideas to be ridiculed or diluted by people having a different view, hold your event on your own land, not public property.”

    The Supreme Court says otherwise, hence the need for the ordinance. I didn’t make the law, I’m just explaining how I think it came to be.

  6. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    I am not sure anyone can speak for certain about what the Supreme Court will decide. How many people would have thought that they would allow eminent domain for private use on the justification that it increases tax revenues prior to Kelo.

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