Skip to comments.(Tea Party) Protest to go ahead without permit (Tea Party/Tax Revolt updates and links)
Posted on 04/11/2009 8:50:00 AM PDT by abb
West Rutland resident Jon Wallace is moving ahead with plans for Wednesday's Tax Day Tea Party in Main Street Park, despite being denied a special event permit by the Board of Aldermen this week.
When it comes down to it, he said, he's been told he doesn't really need the permit. And he doesn't see how the aldermen think they could deny protestors' First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly anyway, he said.
"My gut feeling was that 'thou doth protest too much,'" Wallace said of the board's decision to deny the permit. Wallace was not at Monday night's aldermen meeting a sticking point for several members of the board irritated both by the short notice of the request and the fact they couldn't get answers to some lingering questions.
"What are they afraid of?" he said Friday. "If your ear is to the ground and you're listening to people and you're trying to do the people's work, my God you're going to be standing there with us embracing us."
Wallace is the Vermont state coordinator for a grassroots effort to hold a coordinated, national tea party protest. According to the Tax Day Tea Party Web site, more than 600 cities will play host to similar rallies, including Montpelier.
The rallies aren't meant to be divisive or partisan, in fact Wallace describes them as "genteel." That said, he wanted to dot his i's and cross his t's by getting a permit even though the event doesn't feature vendors, require streets to be blocked off or require a police detail.
So he obtained the necessary sign-offs from the Parks and Recreation Department, city police, city fire and the city attorney, as well as liability insurance. Thus he was shocked when he heard his request had been denied.
Alderman William Notte was the first to raise concerns about the event during Monday's meeting. He voted against it, and followed up his decision by writing an e-mail to the group explaining his rationale and noting this doesn't mean the event couldn't go on a question addressed by City Attorney Andrew Costello during the meeting.
"All we did, in my opinion, by not giving them a special event permit was not give them the city's official approval, which would limit our liability if something went wrong," Notte said.
Police Lt. Kevin Geno also seconded Costello's opinion that when held Wednesday, the rally will not be in violation of the law.
"They were just being cautious and doing the right thing really just to let the city fathers know what was going on," Geno said. "They can still hold it."
If the permit request had been turned in even two weeks sooner and the permit form does state it should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the proposed event Notte said he believes it would have been approved without a hitch.
"This is a good example of why anyone coming (to the aldermen with a request) for the first time would be well served to send a representative to the meeting," he said.
While it may be a good idea, it's not a written requirement. Yet Notte wasn't the only alderman to express his displeasure that someone from the group which it was also noted the board is unfamiliar with wasn't in attendance.
Wallace didn't know it was expected of him, he said when reached after the meeting Monday night. In fact, he didn't even realize the permit was subject to the board's final OK. He thought he'd already received it.
That confusion could open the city up for accusations of discrimination, according to Allen Gilbert, ACLU of Vermont's executive director.
"It's a problem if the regulation doesn't make clear what their requirements are," Gilbert said. "That sort of vagueness can easily lead to discriminatory treatment and a public body wants to avoid that when it comes to granting permission or withholding permission for using a public space."
David Allaire, president of the Board of Aldermen, said a discussion about tweaking the permit requirements is already under way.
"I think it's a good idea to look at the permit and see if there are some additional requirements that we want to put in place, and also look and see if this is something we want to actually have in an ordinance to give it some basis of law other than just a policy," Allaire said Friday.
He said he wasn't aware before the start of the meeting that any of his board members were planning to take issue with the request. If he had, "maybe we would have been able to contact (Wallace) (The permit procedures) are not common public knowledge."
Only government approved protests will be allowed.
About time our side stopped worrying about what the commie opposition says. Screw them, move forward.
I don't know about Mr. Allaire - but personally I don't think there is anything more fulfilling than calling a committee together to discuss tweaks to permit requirements.
French farmers/truckers occasionally paralyze the roadways in protest, I don’t think they get permits for it. The French have more balls than we do in that regard.
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That FIRST Tea Party for sure didn’t have any permit.
There ya go! Limited liability!
God save us from the Nottes of this world.
Jolly good for these people!!! It’s very heartening to see that at least a few Americans still have some guts. A PERMIT!!! Unfrigginbelievable.
Does anyone see any "additional requirements" in the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights?
These people are hidious...
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Right on. Power to the people. Productive people.
yeah... I wonder how many of those obnoxious Cinco De Mayo rallies last year by the illegal immigrants were denied for not having the "right" permits...
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
Tell those assclowns to read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There’s your permit.
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Some Saudi kings need to be bowed to. If you have a small government, you need small people to run it.
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Here is the permit...
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I can see it now.... "Dear King George, We colonists would like to have a tea party to protest your unfair taxing without representation. Would you give us permission, pretty please?"
Future Founding Fathers and Patriots
It just really pi$$es me off that people that believe in the rule of law are told to get permits while the anarchists, commies and socialists that regularly trash our constitution, destroy our property and would enslave us all to the state don’t need, want or get permits.
Alderman Notte needs some talkin’ to about freedom and liberty. Maybe we could have ACORN arrange a bus tour protest of his home...
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What is especially disgraceful is that the attorneys on our side are unwilling to make this type of case, with such an obvious double standard being applied in virtually all endeavors in America. We have no attorneys with any guts. And in the few instances when we mount a challenge, our side backs down at the first setback, the first resistance, the first negative media portrayal. We really need to hit the streets.
"Vere are your papers?!!"
“Our Side” is forever lost. Conservatives have lost and this country will never recover. Get used to it.
“Here is the permit...
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
THAT’S what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Original Tea party didnt ask permission. Its time to start pushing them, if they want to start making mass arrests for protesting without a permit, thats fine, it will fuel the mass sit in at the jails! The masters are *way overdue* for a good solid scare.
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Ethan Allen and Seth Warner would have told the ‘aldermen’ just wear to shove their permit...
Permit? Who cares, I held the first ever largest tea party and did not get a permit.
We have the RIGHT to peacefully assemble under the Constitution. Permit? i don’t think so.
The difficulty, of course, is taking vacation days to hit the streets. I’m sure everybody going to the Tax Day Tea Parties is taking a vacation day. I know I am.
The parasites, anarchists, professional slackers and welfare queens don’t need to take precious vacation days.
Here in Walnut Creek, CA it’s essentially after 4:00pm which will allow some to not miss a lot of work. Some other events are at noon.
There’s an original copy of our “permit” on file in the National Archives. I’ve seen it...
“Our Side is forever lost.”
Depends. This thing could turn around quickly if we do the right thing over the next couple years. Whether we have the guts to do the right thing (and it ain’t really a ‘within the system’ remedy), remains to be seen. The commies are a very thin paper lion. Very thin. They could be run out of here in a very short period of time, should we decide to make it happen. We’ll see.
I am not saying that the state or local government can trump the Constitution. But the orignal intent of the founders was that the Constitution limited the federal government.
The government also has the responsibility to “secure domestic tranquility”. As in protect from violence by a mob.
The states and cities cannot trump the Constitution, but they can regulate. They can require permits. hold the organization responsible for damage or injury, they can require you to provide security.
I think in the case here we are talking about the local government hypocrasy and prejudice.
We are agreeing with the premise but for different reasons.
By the way, do you think you can hold a protest on private property?? Can I restrict your right to speech, assembly, or prevent you from practicing your religion in my front yard???
Don’t even ask for a permit. JUST DO IT!