Archive for April 6, 2012

Who Will Stand With the People and the Bill of Rights?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by highboldtage

Tomorrow night, Saturday April 7, will be a historic moment at the Humboldt County Courthouse.

On that night at 9 pm a group of patriots will stand up for the People and the Bill of Rights.

Who will stand with them?

Will Norman Solomon, Democratic Party candidate for Congress, stand with the people? Or Susan Adams, another Democratic candidate, will she stand with the people? Or Jared Huffman? Does Huffman support the Bill of Rights? How about our local Supervisor candidates? Will Cheryl Seidner stand with the people? Will Annette De Modena stand up for the Bill of Rights and against fascist overreach? Will the local Tea Party show up in solidarity with Occupy and non-violently stand up for the Bill of Rights?

How about Paul Gallegos, our District Attorney? Is he on the side of liberty or fascism? Will he stand with the people?

The whole world is watching.

have a peaceful day,

Bill

~please forward~

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Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group

Nothing is more needed now than tocontinue the work initiated by this past Mar. 24th Forum -To Protect and Restore Our first Amendment rights. It turned outto be precisely the kind of happening in preparing for public responseat the following Tuesdays Board Of Supervisors meeting when theBoard hastily passed their ill conceived ordinance rejecting ourprotest and First Amendment rights.

Actions immediately followed and arecontinuing:  Invitation To Defend theFirst Amendment

Arts Alive After-party and Vigil Tomorrow Sat. April .7th 12′

Candlelight Vigil on Humboldt County Courthouse- 9:00to 10:00 PM

We are the ones who must defend free speech, in response to the new “Urgency Ordinance.”

Candles with safe, wax catching bases will be provided.  Bring your own “Self Stabilized Sign” or a flag.

Risk arrest (or not)

But Be ThereTo Defend Your Rights

The most primal message now:

How “We The People” must be constantly alert to governments rapidly growing incursions into our lives in further overriding our freedoms. We must be prepared to face this precarious position in rising up together as a Community in speaking out.

Latest incoming Reports:

+ WA Apr. 2, 12′ NYTNat

Supreme Court On Monday RuledBy a 5-to-4 Vote that allows officials to strip-search people arrestedfor any offense, however minor.

+ NY Times Mar. 31,12′

Police Are Using Phone Tracking AsA Routine Tool: Cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, it has become apowerful and widely used surveillance tool for local policeofficials.

+ 4/6/12 http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_cispa/?vl

Rightnow, over 100 Members of the US Congress are trying to sneak through abill under (CISP) Known asthe ‘Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act’, which would givegovernment the right to censor, basically, anything and everything onthe internet that it deems “disruptive or offensive” togovernment or business, spying onevery Internet user without a warrant, a total attack onglobal Internet freedom.

*************

Our working groupcontinues with weekly meetings:  to organize for ongoing and effective measures to: 1) Resist this rapidly growing government disenfranchisement of our rights and their invasiveness into our lives. 2) Fulfilling the original efforts of the ‘Occupy movement in exposing this governments fatally flawed policies bent on utterly undermining humanity and despoiling our very abilities to sustain on planet Earth!

Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group

occupy-civil-liberties-wg@humboldtfreeuniversity.org

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From:
Urgency Ordinance vs. The First Amendment

Defend the First Amendment at a candlelight vigil, from 9 to 10pm, on Saturday, April 7, after Arts Alive, at the Humboldt County Courthouse.

The ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors last week that restricts protest activities in front of the Courthouse is unconstitutional and wrong-headed.

Restricting freedom of speech and assembly at the seat of our local government is a threat to groups of all political persuasions that use the public forum to freely express their views. These groups include social justice activists, Native Americans, peaceniks, Tea Partiers, Veterans for Peace, anti-abortion activists, pro-choice advocates, Occupiers, Humboldt CPR, Women in Black, gay, LGBT people, supporters of victims of domestic violence, unions, Take Back the Night, health workers, conservation groups, and many others. Over the years, demonstrators have hung signs on railings or the flagpole base, set up tables, canopies, bulletin boards, stages with PA systems, free-standing displays, signs and flags on bases.

Now, in an over-reaction to the Occupiers, these First Amendment protected activities have been outlawed, and a 9:30pm to 6:00am curfew has been imposed on the courthouse grounds.

Since the Occupy Movement began, there have certainly been some serious problems, mostly caused by non-politically motivated victims of a broken system, who have joined the occupation but do not necessarily participate in Occupy’s decision-making process or rules. In the Legislative Findings section of the new ordinance these problems are enumerated: “…These incidents include numerous complaints of public urination and defecation, threatening and abusive language, sexual harassment, and smoking of marijuana… calls for service involving assaults and public drunkenness.” Also mentioned are littering and improper disposal of waste and damaging public property.

Hmm…going down this list of incidents, aren’t all of these activities already illegal? And how will restricting signs and banners and tables and hours of legal protest prevent the listed crimes?

Also mentioned in the Findings is that the Occupiers are somehow preventing other groups from using the public space at the Courthouse. Occupiers have never opposed the right of other groups to demonstrate. The only constraint on additional protests has been the chain link fence that severely limits the amount of available public space and creates a bottleneck at the courthouse steps.

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have become unwitting participants in “Reactionary Lawmaking.” In reaction to the local Occupy Movement, they have enacted a law that restricts the First Amendment rights of everyone who might want to take up a cause in the public commons. This is how our right to free speech is whittled away by well-intentioned officials.

Further, the Board has passed this as a so-called “Urgency Ordinance,” thereby limiting public discussion and comment on a very serious infringement of our rights.

The real solutions to the problems at the Courthouse do not involve further restriction of rights:
Take the fence down.
Allow demonstrators to place and pay for a porta-potty, near the courthouse, as they have offered to do.
Arrest and prosecute anyone who verbally or physically assaults anyone else.
Enforce all other existing laws that guarantee the safety of the public.
Provide an emergency camping facility somewhere near the downtown, for anyone who needs a place to sleep and cannot afford it.

Reactionary laws, responding to the challenges posed by the Occupy Movement, are being passed in cities across the country. They are “abridging the freedom of speech… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” While reasonable restrictions on time, place, and manner of First Amendment activities are legally permitted, laws like the Humboldt Urgency Ordinance go way too far in restricting public protest. Vibrant, unfettered public expression is essential to a working democracy. We must actively defend our freedoms, or they will be eroded by a myriad of new laws and regulations.

We are inviting you to defend the First Amendment, at an Arts Alive After-party and Candlelight Vigil, on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at the Humboldt County Courthouse, from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Whatever your feelings about Occupy Eureka, please understand the importance of defending our right to assemble and speak freely at our local seat of political power. We the people of Humboldt are the ones who must defend free speech from the oppressive new “Urgency Ordinance.”

Candles with safe, wax-catching bases will be provided. Bring your own “Self-Stabilized Sign,” or a flag, or a lawn chair if you wish to challenge the law.

Risk arrest (or not), but please be there to defend your rights.

–Dave Meserve

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