Skip to comments.Today, it became real.....
Posted on 02/11/2013 8:39:36 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER
I got this in email form and asked permission to post it in full here.
This occurred at Castillo De San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida.
Today, it became real..... by Maureen Michelle 2/9/2013
If you've been paying attention these past twelve years, you'll have noticed our Liberty is in grave danger.The unrelenting chipping away of the cornerstone started the day they took the three Towers in New York City. I am an Oath Keeper. An oath keeper takes seriously their oath sworn to uphold, defend and protect the constitution. I read about the abuses of our government everyday. I've researched House Resolutions, United States Codes and illegal Executive Orders written monthly in defiance to the constitution. Today ironically, 2 blocks from our town square where the Freedom Trail is commemorated with the golden footsteps of the civil rights movement in 1963, our loss of Liberty became manifest. Today, in America's oldest city, it became all too real to me. The loss of Liberty actually touched me. It was no longer just words or blogs on the internet. It wasn't something I'd copied and pasted into a forum. No, today I felt the loss of Liberty...For the very first time in my life, it became real to me. I became a Jew, with a yellow star pinned to my chest. I became an Irishwoman tending her man shot by an English soldier, in his own homeland. Today I was the defiant Chinese man standing in front of a tank in TiananmenSquare. Today I was an American, arguing for my free speech....today it was myturn.
This Saturday afternoon, I was in the company of two St Augustine Tea Party Gentlemen. They were dressed in colonial garb,complete with tricorn hats, carrying Gadsden & Molon Labe flags. This is a weekly happening for them. They pass out pocket constitutions along a busy thoroughfare to tourists & passers by. They spread the message of Liberty to the thousands who visit our city from across the country visiting St. George Street, in America's oldest city. My tea Party companions Lance and Dave, wanted a picture of themselves for their newsletter standing in front of the Castillo San Marco fort, an historical national landmark.They wanted a picture holding their flags flying. They warned me before hand that we might "get chased" as we weren't allowed to be just anywhere with our patriotic messages...I didn't really comprehend or register what they were telling me, when they mentioned free speechzone. The wind on top of the rise kept blowing off their hats! The flags were flying in their faces,camera adjustments had to be made, the picture taking was taking longer than it should have. The tourists are coming and going, entering and leaving the fort. They're clapping for us, cheering the Americans, enjoining the flag's sentiments saying "Come & Take It". I was juggling in my hands a flat brown paper package with fliers inside and a small telephone/camera on video mode. I reached down to catch one of my companion's blown off hat's. I returned it and found a Park Ranger straddled across his bicycle on the hill in front of me. He was smiling at the blowing tricorn hats and us chasing them.
"Ooohh careful now, don't fall" he addressed us on this sunny hillside. Then he addressed me. "Ma'am, your not allowed to be here with this kind of display, you're not within the 1st amendment free speech zone.." I stared at him for a moment...handsome healthy looking young man, on a bike. I thought of Central Park in NY, that he could've been riding on a path with his wife or kids. "Excuse me" I said," I don't think I understood what you just said......?" The young Park Ranger repeated his initial statement. Very polite, very respectful,soft spoken, smiling with his dazzlingly white teeth.
"Ma'am... you're not allowed to be here with these signs, or pass out material (which I wasn't doing any of)outside of the 1st Amendment zone which is over there down the hill."
It took me a second till it clicked,this is what my Tea Party companions mentioned about the "zone"...! Me: It sounds like, you are telling me, there is a designated area for free speech, or the 1st amendment?
Park Ranger:Yes ma'am, that is what I am saying...over there, is a section...." he indicated with his head while holding his handlebars leaning on the hill. He responded to my question in such complete nonchalance like I'd asked him where were the drinking fountains or restrooms!
I was incredulous as to what I was hearing....and I am sure my mouth was hanging open in disbelief.
Me: Sir? Did you swear an oath when you took this job? PR: Yes ma'am, I did.. Me: To what? To what did you swear an oath to? PR: To the country... Me: To the constitution? PR: Yes ma'am. Me:Yet, you are breaking that oath this very moment! You're telling me, that on these park grounds, of which I support, I may only exercise my 1st amendment right,which is within the bill of rights, in a designated area? Have we reverted into Nazi Germany sir? PR: I understand ma'am... Me: You understand that you, right now, are not only breaking your oath to the constitution you swore to uphold and defend, but attempting to force me to deny my oath as well? You sir are denying me my 1st amendment rights as a citizen of this country! Our rights cannot bedesignated on a piece of ground! Our rights go from sea to shining sea! They are not your rights to take or give or designate to a piece of ground!
Why have you no American Flag on your uniform? Why is there no American flag flying over this fort? I understand you are just doing your job, but that's exactly what the Nazi's said in Nuremberg Germany. Is this not still the United States? PR: I understand...this is federally owned ma'am.. Me: Yes, by me! I am the government, I own this park, as do all of these people walking up this sidewalk! This park belongs not to an "office", but of all these people around me here today,including yourself!
Maybe he will think about this when he goes home tonight......
I went home, with all this jazz in my head, the tyranny became real...I felt it today.... and cried.............
If there is a free speech zone, that must mean the
rest is a speech free zone.
Yes, you’re free, but do it over THERE!
I’m sorry to hear that one of our employees is that stupid, but it seems he is not the only one. Starts at the head.
Better late than never...
“1st Amendment zone”
We’ve all heard of “gun-free zones,” but now we have “freedom-free zones”?
Incredible, Orwellian and doubleplus ungood.
Someone mentioned here the other day that Democrats are thinking of hooking-up power grids to the founding fathers
as dynamos for cheap, clean power, considering that they must be spinning like tops in their graves these past few years.
You need to do some research into the “public forum doctrine.” There’s a large body of court decisions on this subject going back over a hundred years.
As she alluded to in this writing, the Jews were allowed to exist (at first) in Nazi Germany - just within the proper “zones”.
And in the United States during the “civil rights era” Blacks were allowed to do all the same things as whites - just within the proper “zones”.
The country will never be taken over in one fell swoop. It will always be half-done first through the use of “zones”.
I’ve done the research, I didn’t write this, just passed it on because I thought it was worth sharing.
Twilight Zone ping...
Twilight Zone ping...
As seems to always be the case, these “laws” are always open to interpretation...Here is a discussion of the “public forum doctrine” - for what it is worth...
What is the Public Forum Doctrine?
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech ”. Despite this apparently absolutist statement, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that the right to speak is not equal at all times and in all places. While the Court has continually upheld the principle that an individual retains his or her constitutional rights in government-controlled settings, the Court must nonetheless balance the individual’s right to speak with the government’s interest in managing its property.
Early jurisprudence addressing this problem focused on time, place and manner restrictions and ultimately culminated in a “compatible use” test. This test instructed that the “crucial question is whether the manner of expression is basically incompatible with the normal activity of a particular place at a particular time.” If the expression was deemed incompatible, it could be constitutionally regulated. Eventually the Court developed a more formal set of regulations, now known as the “public forum doctrine,” to define the scope of protection required for speakers using government-owned spaces. Despite being criticized as overly rigid and narrow, the public forum doctrine remains an important principle in First Amendment jurisprudence.
The Court’s first encounter with the public forum doctrine was not a First Amendment success. In Davis v. Massachusetts, 167 U.S. 43, 48 (1897), the Court affirmed Davis’ conviction for speaking on Boston Common without a permit, holding that “The right to absolutely exclude all right to use, necessarily includes the authority to determine under what circumstances such use may be availed of, as the greater power includes the lesser.”
The Davis rationale survived for 40 years until the Court decided Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. 496 (1939). There the Court was asked to invoke Davis to uphold a Jersey City ordinance imposing a permit requirement for speech in public areas. The Court rejected Davis’ rationale. Justice Roberts delivered his famous dictum that, despite the fact that title to the “streets and parks may rest in governments, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions. Such use of the streets and public places has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights and liberties of citizens.” Hague v. CIO, 307 U.S. at 515.
The public forum doctrine was refined over the years, culminating in Perry Education Association v. Perry Local Educators’ Association, 460 U.S. 37 (1983), where the Court established a three-tier categorization of public forums. The first category articulated in Perry was the traditional public forum. Traditional public forums include the streets, sidewalks, and parks discussed in Hague as being held in trust for the public. In a traditional public forum, the state may not restrict speech based on content unless it can show that its regulation is necessary to serve a compelling state interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.
Courts, however, have read the traditional public forum definition espoused in Perry narrowly. In United States v. Kokinda, 497 U.S. 720, 730 (1990), for example, the Court held that a sidewalk that provided access from a parking lot to the post office was not a traditional public forum, because the Postal Service had not “expressly dedicated its sidewalks to any expressive activity.” Similarly, in International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672, 680 (1992), the Court ruled that airports are not public forums, reasoning that given the “lateness with which the modern air terminal has made its appearance, it hardly qualifies for the description of having ‘immemorially time out of mind’ been held in the public trust and used for purposes of expressive activity.”
Justice Kennedy, though concurring in the Krishna Consciousness decision, acknowledged that the “failure to recognize that new types of government property may be appropriate forums for speech will lead to a serious curtailment of our expressive activity.” Id. at 693. In any event it is clear that Kokinda and Krishna Consciousness v. Lee signal a lessened significance and a more constricted role for the public forum doctrine.
Limited or designated public forums are defined as “public property which the state has opened for use by the public as a place for expressive activity” and are treated substantially the same as traditional public forums. Perry at 45. Examples of limited public forums include university meeting facilities, municipal theaters and school board meeting rooms. The Court looks for clear governmental intent to create a limited public forum and held in Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, 473 U.S. 788, 802, that it will not infer the government intent to create a limited public forum. The Court looks to the “policy and practice” of the government to determine whether it intended to designate a nontraditional forum as open to assembly and debate. The Court also considers the nature of the property to ascertain whether it is compatible with expressive activity.
Although the Court recognizes that a state need not indefinitely keep a limited public forum open to the public, while the limited forum is open, the same restrictions governing traditional public forums apply. Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981). Specifically, a state may only impose reasonable, content-neutral time, place and manner restrictions so long as the restriction is necessary and narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.
Finally, every forum that is not a traditional or limited public forum is a nonpublic forum. Examples of nonpublic forums are street-light posts, prisons, military bases, polling places, a school district’s internal mail system and airport terminals. The Court grants states much greater latitude in regulating nonpublic forums. In addition to applying time, place and manner regulations, the state may reserve the forum for its intended purposes, communicative or otherwise, as long as the regulation on speech is reasonable and not an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.
Recent cases and controversies illustrate that the public forum doctrine remains a hotly contested area of modern jurisprudence. The 2000 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, for example, were marked by debates over when and where protesters could publicly demonstrate. Attempts were made to limit protests the weekend before the convention and to allow only those demonstrations for which prior permits had been properly obtained. Officials in Philadelphia passed laws to prohibit bandanas and masks from being worn during protests. In Los Angeles, law-enforcement officials planned to create a safety zone around the convention site to keep protesters at least 200 yards from delegates. A federal judge intervened, however, ruling that the zone violated the First Amendment by unreasonably restricting the public’s chances to communicate with convention delegates. As a result of the decision, the city was forced to allow demonstrators on the sidewalks across the street from the convention entrance.
Recent lower federal court decisions further illustrate the continuing battle over the public forum doctrine. In Hopper v. City of Pasco, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 2232 (9th Cir. 2001), the city opened a display area within the city hall. Artists who were invited to display their work were summarily uninvited when their submissions provoked controversy. The artists brought suit, claiming violation of the First Amendment. The District Court held in favor of the city, finding that the display area was a nonpublic forum. On appeal, however, the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the city had, in fact, created a designated public forum and had wrongly excluded the artists’ work without a compelling government interest.
In Marlin v. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, 236 F. 3d 716 (D.C. Cir. 2001), a voter challenged a District of Columbia election regulation that prohibited him from voting in his designated polling place while wearing a campaign sticker in favor of one mayoral candidate. The district court held that the ban constituted a reasonable viewpoint-neutral regulation of a nonpublic forum and, therefore, did not violate the First Amendment. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed.
Similarly, in Embry v. Lewis, 215 F. 3d 884 (8th Cir. 2000), individuals collecting signatures for an initiative on the grounds of a public school designated as a polling place were arrested after refusing to leave. The district court opined that opening a portion of the school for voting did not convert the rest of the school grounds from a nonpublic forum into a designated public forum. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the decision, holding that the exclusion from the nonpublic forum was reasonable, based on the broad discretion school officials have in restricting visitors on school property to protect the safety and welfare of their students.
Notwithstanding its long history, the public forum doctrine continues to play a paramount role in decisions concerning when and where an individual may exercise his or her First Amendment right to free speech. As the cases demonstrate, the extent of protection afforded to a speaker using government-owned facilities is chiefly dependent upon how a particular property is designated.
For me this isn’t as cut and dried as it might seem. Imagine you go to Gettysburg and decide to walk Picket’s Charge (something I’ve done twice and cannot do without sadness and tears). Now imagine as you headed to the rock wall or high water mark of the Confederacy that a shaved headed Hari Krishna monk or whatever they’re called comes walking up to you and tries to give you some of his literature about peace and all that crap. And the person keeps walking beside you and wouldn’t give it a rest. Pretty soon I’d be looking for someone to limit that idiots free speech rights to a free speech zone far from this hallowed ground. Just a thought from an oldster whose spent his adult life working to protect the Constitution everyone’s rights.
“Free Speech Zone” - aka Corral for observation, surveillance, reporting and rounding up.
As long as American Idol and Monday night Fotball is not messed with, 99% of the public would not give a damn.
Nully, the Twighlight Zones was fictional, whereas this is all too real! ... Gun-free zones anyone? You know, the ones the founders set aside in the Constitution.
The ranger was following orders. Orders come from the civil authorities in charge. Politicians. Can’t blame the officer.
I think this is about an area designated for standing and handing out literature. Calling it a “free speech zone” is unfortunate.
That being said, it doesn’t matter if you can hand out literature here or there. If it doesn’t agree with official liberal dogma, you will be arrested, harassed or called a racist/sexist/homophobe/jihadiphobe/
Seems to me that if the government claimed to own the infrastructure used for internet, they could regulate everything that happens on the internet, and get rid of all dialog. Same thing with phone and radio.
As long as the government owns everything, they get to control everything. That’s what it sounds like to me.
Amazing that handing out pocket Constitutions is considered taboo on federal land - ANY federal land. It’s basically the authorization for that federal land to even exist. Sort of like saying you can’t carry a car registration in your glove compartment.
Sad story there. MY grandfather was among the first at Omaha Beach to fight the Nazis and we come to this? If he knew this would be America today, he’d toss down his Garand and swim back to England faster than Michael Phelps could. The Statists have crossed the Rubicon here and are coming out like Soviet tanks out of the Fulda Gap. I know I’ve seen all of this happen but there is a side of me that feels like I blasted off into space 30 years ago, froze myself and then came back to a different world. Now I’m in Earth orbit and see a world and country I no longer recognize, believe or fit in. I’m to the point to where I would not want to come down but I would have to at some point when the food runs out, the solar panels age and my batteries give out. B-(
Seems to be they at least think so. I find it interesting that the taxpayers fund the government, but have little to no say over the use of the property “we” own....
And I surely do not think that a bunch of congress critters who may have little knowledge of property management should have a say without our input of how our resources should be used...
"Ve vere only followink orders."
Not a very good defense, as many an obedient SS-mann would have told you if you'd asked him before he swung from a rope.
I remember hearing that bigears and the moooooch walked the accumulation parade route until they got to the Free Speech Zone. Then they got in the car and rode the rest of the way.
Yep, no argument from me. So, did she stay or did she go to the "zone"?
Not my favorite fort...just saying.
European city of St. Augustine was founded by the admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who is responsible for and did massacred the first wave of Huguenot Christians in America.
Like in the movie The Pianist, the “zone” gets smaller and smaller.
I worry about this dynamic every single day.
The courts upheld the decision because technically, they aren’t telling you that can’t express yourself.. They are telling you that you can’t express yourself _right there_. Same with permits.
They haven’t removed your right to free speech - they just added some extra steps.
When it comes to gun control, the argument is same. If they were to make all guns illegal - except one single shot blackpowder model, and then told you that you could only shoot it at a single approved range in each state - They aren’t technically taking away guns, and they aren’t technically removing your right to shoot one. They are putting up barriers and adding extra steps.
This is how they have gotten away with what they have in the way of gun control to date : They aren’t telling people they can’t own and carry a weapon. They are making it damned near impossible to do it. Which is close, but not exactly, banning. You can own and carry a firearm in NYC for instance - But it’s so damned tough to do so that it’s “Basically” not going to happen.
They can, and will do this for the entire nation.
What we need to press on with is the notion of “Shall not be infringed” then we need to update the term “infringed”. Our second amendment has already been “Infringed” and we never made a stink about it. Since the 30’s full-auto ban - it’s been infringed.
According to the constitution, if I can afford a SAM site - I have every RIGHT to buy and deploy one. That’s not a privilege, it’s my RIGHT.
There are still rules in public parks, public grounds, public roads, etc. They still have to be managed, you still need permits and such to have a protest. Just because it’s a park doesn’t mean you can just do anything you want, anytime you want. Thousands of lefties thought it was their free speech to protest in public parks by camping and refusing to leave. They were wrong. Fortunately most courts ruled against the occutards and eventually threw them out.
OK, so you agree that it is unconstitutional to hand out copies of the US Constitution on federal parklands? What?!?!
Will these new free speech zones be target zones for hussein’s new civil army?
I'm saying you can't dress up and leaflet anywhere you want in public parks. That's essentially what these folks were doing. Some parks have rules that allow for it, others don't. Would I be happy if the parks made exemptions for these patriots and other groups I happen to support? Sure. Do I expect that to happen? No. Parks have rules. The fact that these people can't do their thing anywhere, anytime they want in a public park does not mean we are losing our freedoms.
And in fact that's one of the tests of government restriction of speech. If they allowed some and not others, they'd be in violation of the First Amendment, but by restricting all speech they're not.
Poor guy. He is the same one who always tells my little girls they aren’t allowed to play in the enormous live oaks. He is handsome, polite and sweet.
“They’re trees. My girls like to climb trees at the park,” I tell him. Then he proceeds to ask me again to tell them to come down.
Federal government SUCKS. And not just because they don’t let my girls in their trees. :)
if you need a permit to exercise your ‘right’... it’s not a right.
be it free speech ... or buying a gun.
rights cannot be taken away by govt, as they never gave them in the first place. rights can only be denied.
which makes you wonder what ‘shall not be infringed’ means... without the teeth (civil penalty) to back it up.
It was a 1st amendment free zone? Was it a 2nd amendment free zone also, no guns allowed?
BFL. Freedom is seldom taken all in one grand stroke. It is chipped away, piece by piece, one little sliver at a time.
The First Amendment pretty well guarantees that people will be offended at some point or another. While I understand your disinterest in the Hari Krishna who you may (though not likely) encounter walking Pickett’s Charge (and it still takes my breath away), no where in the first amendment is there a guarantee that you will never hear what displeases you
I get it that whether a government agency or office or a private office or private commercial area, those in charge can control where the public is free to go and where it is not.
But if the public is free to go somewhere and that somewhere is public property not private property, it is difficult to understand how the same area can be free to go to but not free to speak in.
The permanent government increasingly realizes it is in charge and we are not.
I wonder if these "free speech zones" have been tested in court.
You missed the part where someone named Maureen wrote it and I just passed it on.