“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.” First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Yes, the Hick has officially declared the period from 12:01 a.m. M.D.T. August 15, 2008 to 11:59 (no indication whether a.m. or p.m. I assume, p.m.) M.D.T. August 31, 2008 to be an “Extraordinary Event.” The preceding link is to the official “Declaration” by the mayor, this link is to a .pdf file providing the boundaries of the “Extraordinary Event.” (You can zoom in on the .pdf.)
To give you some idea to what extent THE PEOPLE will be limited/restricted in exercising their First Amendment rights during the deliberations of the Democratic National Convention , it is instructive to note the boundaries of this so-called “Extraordinary Event” extend to Speer Boulevard at the I25 Interchange, Coors Field, the City of Cuernavaca Park (the easterly most park along the South Platte), Elitches, the Auraria Campus, Grant Street, Thirteenth Avenue, Park Avenue, I25, all of Downtown Denver, Union Station, Civic Center. (A narrative of the boundaries is included in the initial link, above.) Well, you get the idea. Ain’t takin’ no chances with THE PEOPLE here. Lord help us if THE PEOPLE wish to whoop and holler, parade or protest. Let Freedom ring!
Oh, but wait a minute… The mayor’s declaration includes:
Designated Parade Route; permit and fee waiver
The Manager of Safety will identify at least one designated parade route in the affected area for groups to engage in speech and expressive activities through the use of marches, processions or parades, with the route terminating within sight and sound of the convention site.
Yes, indeed, the magnificence of the city’s tolerance of THE PEOPLE’S right to assembly and free speech is surely addressed here. I mean, what more could be done to assure the promise of the First Amendment? What more could the city do to expose the intense dedication of Democrats to the Constitution?
Now, if there are conflicting requests by folks who wish to utilize this “…designated parade route…” then a “…permit coordinating committee…” will tackle the said conflict and “…resolve timing conflicts between various groups desiring to use the route.” Now, if a group or, presumably, one person wishes to utilize anything other than the “…designated parade route…” to “…engage in speech and expressive activities…” then permits and licenses will be required to do so. No permit or license will be required to utilize the “…designated parade route…,” but, as noted, conflicts in timing of groups wishing to utilize the “…designated parade route…” will be vetted by the “…permit coordinating committee.”
The question, of course, is whether or not I can walk from my West Highlands home and carry, oh, maybe a “War is not the Answer” sign down Speer Boulevard, past the I25 interchange and, right before the entrance to Elitches (which is within the “Affected Area” of the “Extraordinary Event”), wave my sign above my head and “…engage in speech…” that expresses my dissatisfaction with the war, will I be doing something illegal? Yes, I know, the Constitution grants me the right to engage in such behavior, but, in Denver, from August 15th to August 31, will the same become offensive to the sensibilities of the Democrats, the city and–screw the Constitution–be cause for the Denver Police Department or the Secret Service or, indeed, Haliburton operatives to move me on or, if I refuse to move, arrest me?
It is probably important to note that the “..affected area…” described in the mayor’s declaration is not specifically identified as a “security corridor,” or some other moniker the Secret Service has yet to define. Or, is the “…affected area…” indeed the “security corridor” identified by the Secret Service? If so, this becomes even scarier or, perhaps, only reflective of our government’s slip-slide into the repression of THE PEOPLE; something set up there on the shelf along with warrentless wiretaps and incarceration sans due process.
And, by the way, if the Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, howcum the Hick can do it?
Good question, huh.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.