Occupy Atlanta sues Kasim Reed, taunts media

Occupy Atlanta is suing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed whining arguing that Hizzoner acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when he told them GTFO rescinded his executive order allowing them to break the law.

In the suit, Occupy Atlanta stated that its goal is to voice political concerns and encourage political participation and awareness. The group, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in September, intends to return to Woodruff Park on Saturday.

Joining as plaintiffs in the suit are state Sen. Vincent Fort and civil rights leader Joe Beasley, along with four individual members of Occupy Atlanta.

The young protesters met for hours Thursday with Jackson; the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a close confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; and Isaac Newton Farris Jr., president of the SCLC and King’s nephew.

According to WSB,

The lawsuit states the city ordinance governing park gatherings is overbroad because large groups, defined as more than 75, are allowed to get permits to stay in the park after hours, but no such permit is required for smaller groups.

Occupy Atlanta said the protesters who stay overnight have not numbered more than 75 and cannot qualify for any type of assembly permit.

The group is also seeking a temporary restraining order allowing it to stay in the park until the case is decided.

The Occupiers are also considering implementing “Media Monkey” as a way of dealing with unfair press coverage:

Media Monkey. The general idea is to make it difficult for hostile media organizations to misrepresent Occupy. If you see a representative of an organization that doesn’t “get” Occupy, get the attention of other members, surround the representative, and make it as difficult as possible for him or her to report. For example: if there’s a camera or mic, yell or shout as loudly as possible. It may be possible to sing copyrighted songs, as simple as the ”Happy Birthday” song, so that they legally can not air the footage.

Here’s my question: how do they determine which media organizations are consciously trying to make them look like idiots because they don’t “get” Occupy, and which are simply reporting the facts, which also happen to make them look like idiots.

24 comments

  1. Rick Day says:

    acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner

    He did. That ordinance is unconstitutional. It was put in place to deter the Atlanta Pot Festival. Paul Cornwell from C.A.M.P. has fought the city on several of these 1st Amendment public assembly issues.

    Todd, frankly I continue to be shocked at the hypocrisy your posts continue to demonstrate (although admittedly, a hallmark ‘value’ of the everyday conservative Republican). You claim to be a staunch defender of the Constitution. Why don’t you find that little copy you got at the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s info table, and re-read the FIRST AMENDMENT.

    Better yet. Google it.

    That this so-called movement irks people to you to the point of dismissive vitriol,confirms our loss of the use of Troy Davis Park to toss a Frisbee™ without hitting a tent is worth it.

    And given your special ‘media coverage’ of this situation, your last statement drips with so much irony I could eat it with pancakes.

    • Todd Rehm says:

      Rick-

      You and SOGTP display the same sort of ignorance about our Constitution. You think that you can simply read it, watch a few “Schoolhouse Rock” videos and decide what you think the Constitution means while ignoring 200+ years of judicial decisions construing the words of the text. It is simple-minded at best.

      The statute in question is on it’s face almost certainly a constitutional restriction on time/place/manner. It’s the application where it gets tricky.

      With any attempt to control speech The Man™ runs into trouble when he tries to quash some speech based on its content. This is called content-based regulation and must meet the strictest level of constitutional scrutiny.

      On its face, a statute that says, “you cannot be in the park between certain hours for any reason” is content neutral, and if it is enforced in a content-neutral manner, it probably passes constitutional review because of the level of scrutiny for content neutral restrictions on speech.

      When The Man™ allows people to break that law, or he suspends enforcement of the law by executive order, because he likes or sympathizes with, or is afraid politically to contradict, the speech that’s going on in the park, then he is enforcing it based on the content of the speech.

      The real problem, constitutionally, comes the next time he tries to enforce it, by say, denying a permit application to stay there overnight by a political group on the other end of the spectrum, like a Tea Party organization or the Boy Scouts of America.

      If this happens, he is now enforcing the statute based on whether he likes the content of the speech or the identity of the speakers. This is likely unconstitutional.

      So Rick, you can’t just say this statute or that statute is unconstitutional. There’s an analysis you have to go through to determine whether a restriction on speech is constitutional.

      You are clearly not intellectually-equipped to talk about the First Amendment without embarrassing yourself. I suggest you try and stick to topics about which you are entitled to hold an opinion.

      Best wishes always.

      • dorian says:

        “You think you can simply read it, watch a few “Schoolhouse Rocks” videos and decide what you think the Constitution means”…best line on PP ever. I hope you don’t have it copyrighted Todd, because I am going to shamelessly plagiarize it.

      • ChuckEaton says:

        I’m going to park my car on a city street, without putting money in the parking meter, put a sign in the window that says, “Down With The Man” and when the city boots it or tows it, I’ll sue them for a violation of my 1st Amendment rights.

  2. rsmith says:

    Rick,

    You must have stumbled onto the wrong web site. On this one, punctuation and grammar matter. Oh, and a basic level of comprehension of the actual facts under discussion.

  3. Andre says:

    Welcoming me back inside from a little maintenance on the car was news that a federal judge rejected OccupyAtlanta’s motion for a temporary restraining order against the ATL:

    A federal judge has denied Occupy Atlanta’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed the protest group to stay at Woodruff Park beyond closing without the threat of arrest, according to one of the plaintiffs.” [Poole and Brooks (2011-11-5). Occupy Atlanta | Judge denies protestors’ request for restraining order against city. Atlanta Journal-Constitution.]

    The “Occupiers” of Atlanta say they plan on staying in Woodruff Park past Saturday’s 11PM closing time, risking arrest again.

    Maybe a sympathizer to the “Occupy” cause can explain why those folks seem unwilling to hold their emotional outcry, as former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young calls it, between the hours Woodruff Park is open.

    If OccupyAtlanta would just follow the park rules, leave when the park closes, and return when the park opens, they would still be “occupying” Woodruff Park while also staying away from Kasim Reed’s bad side.

    • Harry says:

      Drove by late this afternoon. Just a handful of tents and pretty ragged-looking group of maybe 50 folks. The mayor can clean out the park with little effort.

  4. Cassandra says:

    Right now Occupy’s mission is to get as much “Police Brutality” footage as possible. This will be used to recruit more people for the 2012 push to keep Americans from concentrating on the big issues–How we can cut spending and increase revenues. Make no mistake, Occupy is going to be a player in 2012. A distraction, noise, but a player.

    The Left is fearful that 30-50 years of programs and services stand a good chance of being severely curtailed. In addition to the hardship and social upheaval caused by such cutbacks, whole agencies will be consolidated or simply defunded. So jobs are at stake.

    The Right is fearful that the Occupy movement will continue to grow, pulling resources away from electing Mitt as President (Not an endorsement, but that is who will prevail in the nomination.) Linking Occupy to the Tea Party resonates, the Left now has their version of the Tea Party. It will be more popular, people would rather blame Wall Street, anyone, other than talk about reduced spending.

    Americans are beginning to realize that our current economic model is running off a cliff. Nobody is happy, and our right to gather, express our thoughts, and protest will be tested.

    • debbie0040 says:

      Occupy is no tea party. Tea Party activists respect law enforcement and our American flag and believe in following laws. Children are often seen at tea parties and they are family oriented.

      You don’t see people promoting Communism, Socialism or openly engaging in sex. You won’t find illegal drugs at a tea party and there have been no arrests..

      The only brutality and violence I have seen is from Occupy.

      • Cassandra says:

        @debbie0040

        I said: “Linking Occupy to the Tea Party resonates, the Left now has their version of the Tea Party.”

        More accurately, “[Some mistakenly link] Occupy to the Tea Party resonates, the Left now has their version of the Tea Party.”

        The two movements are indeed not alike, but many people simply do not make that distinction. OWS, by it’s continued provocations, will distinguish, and hopefully, extinguish, itself.

      • Three Jack says:

        “You don’t see people promoting Communism, Socialism or openly engaging in sex. You won’t find illegal drugs at a tea party and there have been no arrests..

        where’s the fun in that…no sex, no drugs, no arrests, sounds like a church social. 😉

        great video on the regular guys facebook page of tim franzen showcasing his bs skills after a cop was literally tossed off of his motorcycle. seems the atl occupiers are striving to be more like their radical bros in oakland and dc. keep trying guys, you’re not even close yet.

    • rense says:

      “This will be used to recruit more people for the 2012 push to keep Americans from concentrating on the big issues–How we can cut spending and increase revenues.”

      Those are big issues FOR YOU, but not for some people. Some of us don’t want Wall Street to go back to their behavior from the late 90s until 2007 or so, behavior that was criminal, risky or both, that burned through hundreds of billions in capital and only landed a few offenders in jail (and to think that these same folks are now complaining about Sarbanes-Oxley, which was enacted by a GOP administration and Congress because of Enron and Arthur Anderson). Some of us want to end “too big to fail.” Some of us want Glass-Steagall re-enacted. And some of us want energy independence so we won’t have to transfer our wealth to Saudi Arabia and Hugo Chavez at $3.50 a gallon, and no energy independence does not mean giving the fossil fuel companies whatever they want (especially since even if we do open up ANWR and such, there is no way to force those companies to sell that oil in America only). Some of us also care about ending corporatist globalism – where the plant is basically ruled by multinational corporations who seek only their own interests instead of the interests of any particular nation – and want a return to political and economic sovereignty. (Case in point: the main reason why we won’t close the border is because the big business types want the cheap labor. I still remember when the Bush administration was going around calling people opposed to his basically open border policy “racist against Hispanics.”) And some of us want America to stop being world police, to stop going around the world enforcing U.N. resolutions and NATO policy, and instead dedicate our resources to defending our own borders. Some of us are also opposed to ALL crony capitalism, instead of getting selectively outraged at Solyndra while ignoring Halliburton (Cynthia McKinney turned out to be not so far off after all … even a Marxist stopped clock is right twice a day I guess!), Blackwater, etc.

      The Tea Party – the original Tea Party – WAS talking about those issues until they got co-opted by Dick Armey, Stephen Moore, the Koch brothers etc. and became just another GOP lobbying front promoting the same Bush neo-conservatism (which in terms of economics and foreign policy isn’t really that different from Clinton neo-liberalism, it really isn’t!) . The Tea Party promoted and popularized a lot of ideas that Ron Paul has been talking about for years, ideas that used to be considered fringe and extremist. (Unfortunately, Rand Paul is nowhere near as bold or principled as his father.) But now, sadly, it has been infiltrated, and now the Tea Party is just another front for Bush (George H. W. and George W.) neo-conservatism.

      • Cassandra says:

        rense, I don’t have the time to spend on as eloquent and wordy a reply as you, so I will cut to the chase:

        ::::Those are big issues FOR YOU, but not for some people:::::

        Unless ALL Americans fully recognize the gravitas of our economic situation, and how little time the US has to make substantial changes, we will become insolvent, without anyone to feed our voracious debt-a-tite.

        :::::Some of us also care about ending corporatist globalism:::::

        Bless your heart!

        • rense says:

          I will be similarly concise:

          Neo-conservative and neo-liberal policy (economic, foreign policy/defense/military etc.) is a huge reason why our economic situation is so grave. Until we kick the neos out (whether Democrat or Republican) we will become insolvent. The best (worst) part is that while the ship is going down, both sides will be pointing fingers of blame at each other despite their being on the same side, offering only slightly different versions of the same basic policies. Look at it this way. Pat Buchanan has always been a segregationist, but he was only driven from the mainstream when he turned on the neocons and admitted that there wasn’t much difference between them and the neo-liberal Democrats. The Democrats have similarly marginalized a lot of their own. (OK, so I am not as concise as you but it is still shorter than before!) The ORIGINAL Tea Party realized this. Then it got swallowed up by the neo-con beast. Soon the Occupy Wall Street crowd will be similarly swallowed up by the DNC.

  5. Tvshooter says:

    A paralegal qualifies you to research case law, file papers and carry those rolling cases of files into court. Not much else-legal secretaries make more than the paralegal (my GF is one and she makes more than the highest paid paralegal at her very nice, high profile firm).

    ‘I’m a paralegal and you’re not”……that’s your best argument on the park hours ordinance? Drawing the inference from your posts, I’m guessing you are working as a paralegal/paralawyer for OA?

    Guess what Deck Shifflet? The reason the Pot Festival folks have been fighting the city for years is because they have no case. The city has a legal right to establish operating hours for city owned facilities, to change those hours at will, and to change them back anytime they want. City Hall, court, permits office-all have hours established, and parks are no exception. It’s enforced at all city parks, evenly and those of us in Atlanta that live by a city park support that law.

    As for “Media Monkey”….do it. The media will just let the camera roll and allow you be the monkeys you tend to act like….monkey see, monkey do. Funny though-you seek to disrupt the first amendment rights of folks that you don’t approve of, yet say Todd and the rest of us should read the 1st amendment. Is it your contention that free speech that agrees with you is ok, and should not be censored or disrupted, but speech that YOU think isn’t fair or “get” you should be suppressed?

    What law is that? What part of “free speech” don’t you get? Oh yes…..must be that trade school paralegal education. Where it says “if someone appears to disagree with you, shout them down so their free speech is stifled.

    And this is funny: “It may be possible to sing copyrighted songs, as simple as the ”Happy Birthday” song, so that they legally can not air the footage”.

    “Happy Birthday” is in the public domain, and a tv station/network can air you all day long singing whatever you want. Personlly, I’d think Occupy Atlanta would have better tastes than “Happy Birthday”….maybe try some U2 or perhaps something from Bob Dylan.

    Yes, I am in the TV business and you’re not….check it out. We do it 24/7, 365 days a year. Make sure when you try this, to stand in front with a sign saying “I’m Rick Day, Paralegal!”

    Can someone PLEASE get a paralegal to check the legality of singing on the news? Is there a paralegal in the house?

  6. rsmith says:

    Rick,

    Then in my office, you’d work for me. I also give my support personnel raises instead of calling them paralegals. That’s an old Banker’s trick, sorry you fell for it.

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