Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Speech Press Conference

On Friday, June 6th, the Minneapolis City Council will vote on a resolution which could significantly change the way people assemble and protest on City of Minneapolis sidewalks.

I am organizing a press conference with CM Gary Schiff urging the Mayor and Council to not take these potentially drastic steps to curtail our civil liberties. The press conference is tentatively set for Tuesday, June 3rd at 12:30 in the City Hall rotunda (350 South Fifth Street).

While many things about Ostrow's proposed resolution are fine, I have serious concerns about the following particular aspects that would:

1. Require any person or group planning on holding a public assembly of greater than 50 persons “in a location and in a manner” that will prevent others from using sidewalks to provide notice and obtain plan approval, if they wish to “obtain priority” over other groups.

2. Allow City staff to determine whether an unregistered public assembly prevents other pedestrians from using sidewalks, providing a rationale for enforcement actions against groups that have not received the City’s permission to exercise their First Amendment rights

3. Give registered groups sole claim to public right-of-way, creating a new tool for opponents to preempt demonstrations.

4. Become a permanent policy of the City of Minneapolis, despite being billed as preparation for the Republican National Convention.

I have proposed an alternative approach (in two parts here and here) that uses the best of Ostrow's proposal but addresses its deficiencies.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger Urbanopolis said...

Aghast! Why for a hundred years now on each Syttende Mai (Seventeenth of May), those of Norwegian heritage would fill the streets around their local churches in hundreds to celebrate their nation's independence. Dressed in brightly colored ethnic clothes of red and white, they parade around the block waving Norwegian flags and dancing some benevolent village dance called the leikarring.

Why all traffic would come to a standstill at these Norwegians! To think they would celebrate their country and not OUR country is so unpatriotic that we should have anyone eating lutefisk or smorrbrod deported immediately!

Thank goodness this resolution will finally put an end to this anarchy of the streets and show those Norwegians what freedom of speech means!


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