Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Petition starts against 'free-speech zones'

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

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As we reported in this week's issue, the city of Colorado Springs is exploring the possibility of instituting Orwellian "free-speech zones" for downtown.

J. Adrian Stanley reported:

[City Attorney Chris] Melcher's office is examining the plausibility of creating one or more "free-speech zones" in the downtown area. (You may remember the term from the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, where the zone was incredibly unpopular.) Melcher says his office will look both at encouraging free speech within the zone, and discouraging it elsewhere downtown. The office was spurred to action after downtown business owners, visitors and the artistic community asked the city to see if "there are more appropriate areas for downtown demonstrations" in light of the Occupy Colorado Springs protests in Acacia Park, Melcher says.

As the report points out, there are numerous and significant examples of where government instituted areas where the First Amendment "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" was allowed — disallowing it in other areas.

If the city moves forward with the ordinance, there is also the possibility of legal challenge.

But before the City Council can hear the arguments for and against later this month or early next, members of the Occupy Colorado Springs movement have determined to make their opinion on the matter heard.

They have started a petition, which can be found here, in which they challenge the constitutionality of the proposal.

This is not just a matter that should concern locals to Colorado Springs, if this passes here, your town WILL be next. Free speech is one of the most important and basic right our Constitution grants us, without it we are no longer free people in any sense of the word.

I urge you to sign this petition, pass it around because if this happens life as we know it will no longer be the same.

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