Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Bohn Right On Camping Ordinance

I suppose there's no harm in repealing the ordinance that prohibits camping at the county courthouse, but I agree with Rex Bohn. If existing laws would have sufficed, why was it deemed necessary to pass the ordinance in the first place?

David Meserve's comment in the Times- Standard report has to be one of the lamest:

”The Occupy movement by its very definition is communicating through the act of camping on public property,” Meserve said. “That is a form of communication that should not be impeded by any laws.

Nonsense. The camping ordinance didn't restrict anyone's freedom of speech. It simply had protesters take their message to the sidewalk instead of on the courthouse property itself. If they'd have minded their manners, they might even have been able to stay on the property. But they didn't, and people wanted their courthouse back.

There are limits as to how you practice free speech. Violating laws to express your opinion is known as civil disobedience. If you break those laws expect some sort of sanction. David Meserve should know better than to make a comment like that.

10 Comments:

At 9:53 AM, Blogger mark sailors said...

Since.when do manners enter into freedom of speech?

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Don't make an ass out of yourself and maybe the powers- that- be might be more willing to cut you some slack.

 
At 11:07 AM, Anonymous HT said...

The US Constitution does not guarantee the right to be cut some slack. It does guarantee the right to speak freely.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep, and they can still speak freely, just on the sidewalk and not on the courthouse proper.

I fail to see how some of you can't understand that.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave takes so many extreme, absurd positions that when he has a good point, nobody listens. (This wasn't one of his good points though.)

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, the Constitution does NOT close down during the hours of 9pm-6am. Second, The court house IS public property. I may not agree with the protest, but I agree they had a right to protest! In this country, you have right to assemble & the right to free speech. Maybe our County Supervisors need a High School class or two in Basic Government!

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger mark sailors said...

How can anyone not see that the sidewalk is no different then the rest of the area outside the court. They are both public property.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

In this country, you have right to assemble & the right to free speech.

Yep. And they are free to walk back and forth protesting on the sidewalk now, just as they always have been.

How can anyone not see that the sidewalk is no different then the rest of the area outside the court.

Glad you admit it. Protesting on the sidewalk is just as effective free speech as doing the same thing on the courthouse lawn.

Public property has rules assigned to it and public business to maintain. They misused the public property next to the courthouse so they were told to move it to the sidewalk where they could still express the same message. I don't see the problem.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Tom Sebourn said...

If it's all the same then why did Supervisor Bass break the law by erecting a pop up and placing a sign into the grass when she announced her intent to seek reelection? She did so on the grounds of the County Courthouse, not the sidewalk. Double standard I say. Good on her for seeing the stupidity of the law and voting for it's repeal.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'd suggest having a one-time press conference/ public announcement isn't a problem and wasn't why the ordinance was enacted. In fact, it's a totally appropriate and acceptable use of the county courthouse grounds.

I'd consider public protest an appropriate use, as well, but some folks didn't mind their manners and forced the supervisors to act on it. Kinda like that old saying about ruining it for EVERYBODY.

Protest is appropriate, but not acceptable when some won't mind their manners.

 

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