Monday, May 21, 2012

Protecting Speech – Preventing Violence

Signs not shields.  Speech not spray paint.  Collaboration not clubs.  Any of these might be an alliterative effort to explain an ordinance before the Public Safety committee of the Oakland City Council tomorrow night.  Public safety Chair Pat Kernighan and City Attorney Barbara Parker are sponsoring the ordinance that attempts to protect people and property during a demonstration.

The ordinance cites examples of hammers and clubs being used as weapons, pressurized paint sprayers being used for graffiti, fire accelerants being used to destroy property and shields being used to protect people who were throwing objects at police. The ordinance also cites other cities that have similar speech protections that have been upheld in Federal Courts. 

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