Press Release May 4, 2012

(click here to download PDF)

Response to City Council regarding first passing of the RNC Ordinance

The passing of the first vote of the current version of the RNC Ordinance still includes the establishment of a Green Zone. It does not matter the name you give it: Event Zone, Clean Zone, Public Viewing Area, Free Speech Zone, etc. You are establishing by all definitions a militarized Green Zone. Whether temporary or permanent, this is a serious threat to our democracy. And we are opposed to such attacks on our civil liberties. This includes any form of Free Speech Zone, as our Free Speech Zone is from sea to shining sea.

The Council still does not understand the fundamental dangers to democracy by giving law enforcement more power than they currently have. Assistant Police Chief Bennett himself stated in response to Council Member Reddick that people would be arrested under the current framework of the codes and law. There is no need for such a Zone at all in any form.

It was troublesome to watch another ordinance pass that morning, with clear evidence presented by a resident to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the petitioner was defrauding the City. Yet the Council dismissed this factual evidence and passed the zoning  request without hesitation.  This is alarming.

If something as simple as that matter is lost to City Council, this issue of grave importance concerning rights we are born with, rights protected under the constitution, we fear will not get a fair evaluation. And perhaps City Council is not fit to administrate legislation in our name.

The ordinance was established by people other than City Council, mostly by the executive department and law enforcement. City Council is simply tweaking details of this ordinance, not questioning the core of it. It still is apparent City Council does not understand fully the effects a Green Zone has on a democracy. The fear of some outlaws coming to town cannot be an excuse to strip away rights of the law abiding citizens, nor will it have any effect on the outlaws. It will have an effect however on law abiding citizens. A right stripped from one is stripped from all. This is how fascism tightens its grip over democracy. Sacrificing freedom for security jeopardizes both.

The establishment of a Green Zone further escalates the tension between citizens and law enforcement. Citizens that will be peaceful will feel threatened and react in the face of this police state environment. Law Enforcement will be emboldened to strike first, police second. While you may not be able to control what the law enforcement does on the 4 days of the convention, you do have the power to design the framework for which the outcome of the 4 days will be built from. What is designed determines what is built. And we can predict what the outcome of this design will build.

This may transform the citizen into an apparent insurgent by criminalizing them and leaving them with little options other than to fight for their rights, rather than fight the policies they are coming to address.

Another solution is necessary.



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