FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 23, 2012
City of Sacramento Considers New Law Tuesday to Bar Protests at City Hall Without the City’s Approval; Civil Rights Lawyers, ACLU Board, Occupy Members to Voice Opposition
SACRAMENTO – Civil libertarians – including civil rights lawyers and members of the ACLU Board of Directors – will join Occupy Sacramento and other groups at a hastily-called news conference Tuesday (July 24) to announce opposition to a proposed City of Sacramento ordinance that will all but eliminate truly free speech on City Hall property.
The news briefing will be held at 2:45 p.m. in front of New City Hall TUESDAY (7/24/12).
The City Council Law & Legislation Committee holds a hearing at 3 p.m. on the legislation that would require a permit, fees, insurance and other requirements before free speech events can take place on City Hall property. (http://sacramento.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=21&event_id=21&meta_id=387073)
Currently, constitutionally-protected events can take place on City Hall property for 24 hours a day. The proposed law, recommended for approval by City staff, would halt that without the City’s approval.
The move is largely seen as an attempt to silence Occupy Sacramento, which holds small, peaceful demonstrations daily in front of Old City Hall.
Similar actions by cities – to create laws to limit an Occupy group’s rights after they have been established by law – have been thrown out by the courts.
The City has made 110 arrests of Occupy Sacramento activists since last year, and all of the cases have been tossed by the District Attorney, the courts or by the City itself, which has spent at least a $500,000 in tax dollars enforcing a curfew ordinance at Cesar Chavez Park.
The new proposed ordinance will now restrict and criminalize protest activities on other City property.