Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Protests and Free Speech in Pasadena

The protests in the neighborhood around two miles from where I live has the neighbors all riled up.

The residents are seeking to prevent any more protests in the streets after Quanell X lead an outside demonstration that provoked a counter-demonstration.

KPRC NEWS 2 has a video and a little report.

I think Quanell X is not helping matters. This case already has it all: black, Mexican, drug-using, illegal aliens after robbing a house being killed by an agitated, frightened, old white guy. Bringing the New Black Panthers into Pasadena just feeds the fear and incipient racism.

My pointing out that Joe Horn is not a hero is already filling up my comments (I am filtering and rejecting) that they were BLACK! MEXICANS! ILLEGALS! DRUGGIES! ROBBERS!!!

The Pasadena Citizen on the protests. I even see that Quanell X and others had exactly my reaction, do we want everyday citizens to be police, judge, jury and executioner for crimes that don't carry the death penalty?

The Village Grove East Neighborhood Association is seizing on a safety issue, ambulances and police could not get through large demonstrations like Sunday's, to urge a court injunction.

There were a lot of comments at the city council meeting Tuesday. People may be able to watch it after the election Saturday December 8. I tried to get a person who wrote down the comments to type up a report here but she says she is smarter than that.

Carol Christian finds that none of the mayoral candidates say Joe Horn should be prosecuted.

Don Harrison has an interesting tag on his latest political mail advertisement supporting free speech. This from someone who shut down citizens trying to speak at city council. I think he meant to refer to his being thrown out of the council chamber for interrupting another council member but I wonder if people will think it refers to these protests?

YouTube has a number of videos of the Pasadena protests.

I find most Southerners really don't like the Bill of Rights, except for the 2nd Amendment, and I think most Pasadena residents would like to ban protests.

Part of my liberal function is to urge people to think and consider the consequences. Speaking and protesting is not something you should have to ask permission from government to do. Instead, what are reasonable regulations on speech and protests? Should protests be moved out of neighborhoods if they stop traffic? What are reasonable regulations for large gatherings, parades and such? One sign you are moving into a dictatorship is if unauthorized gatherings are banned.

This seems like a time for people in Pasadena to be calmly considering what Democratic American values they support. Council members and the mayor, and the mayor to be, should proceed cautiously in imposing regulations that seek to limit freedoms. If nothing else, court costs defending unwise decisions can be expensive. I found that out when researching penalties assessed city governments not permitting citizen speech during council meetings.

Think, and keep the peace, until next time.

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