Current news on proposed ordinance to stop picketing at Gold

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
There is an excellent thread with reports about the ordinance COS is trying to push through so that picketing at Gold will be illegal.

I'mglib says:

So, AO, Benny’s Friend and I attended the meeting, and AO and I spoke. A woman who was a professor or something also spoke about free speech and the constitution.
I guess it went ok, because the result was the ordinance was postponed, allegedly to do some “tweaking.” My hope is that it goes away all together.
The strange part was the two supervisors who had had their ears bent by the church of Scientology about how horrible Anonymous was. Jeff Stone even got on the overhead projector to show the propaganda that he had swallowed to everyone. It was the 50 page What it Anonymous dross. I thought it was a foolish move to show it, because it showed he had been duped. However, a second supervisor was on their side, too, and asked AO what was the difference between Anonymous and the Ku Klux Klan. Yikes.
Nonetheless, it ended well, I think. Afterwards we talked to several reporters who took our stories.

County supervisors back away from anti-picketing measure


3:00 p.m. December 9, 2008

RIVERSIDE – Concerned that a proposed anti-picketing ordinance might be too restrictive – and that it did not address the issue that inspired it – the Board of Supervisors Tuesday backed away from the measure, but indicated it may be brought back in different form.

“I don't agree we should abandon this completely, but I want us as united on this as possible,” said Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, who sponsored the measure.

“It's not an attempt to limit the right of expression, or the right to protest. I fully support that,” he said. “We should come up with something that allows for the right to protest ... but also protects those being protested against.”

Under the tabled proposal, “targeted picketing” in unincorporated communities would be confined to no closer than 300 feet of the subject's residence.

Stone proposed the ordinance two weeks after receiving complaints from members of the Church of Scientology, who said the group's San Jacinto compound had been the site of repeated protests, allegedly by hate groups.

During Tuesday's board meeting, Stone identified the protesters as members of an international network known as “Anonymous.” The supervisor showed photographs and literature that members of Anonymous allegedly published, some of which depicted children pointing guns at their own heads and wearing explosives.

Passages from one leaflet advocated a return to segregation and attacks on Scientologists – as well as Christians and Jews. “I believe in the right to protest, but I also believe in the freedom of religion,” Stone said.

Several of the individuals who participated in the half-dozen protests outside the San Jacinto compound denied any association with the pamphlets Stone presented.

“The groups on the Internet that the supervisor brought up have nothing to do with our group protesting Scientology,” said Francois Anon Orange, who led a demonstration outside the compound on Oct. 26.

He claimed he was beaten by compound security guards, who wanted him off the property.

“Scientology is dangerous. It's a cult,” Orange said.

Fellow protesters Patricia Curtis and Susan Elliott, both of Irvine, also disavowed any association with the literature and photos shown at the board meeting.

“None of us have ever seen the pictures that Supervisor Stone showed,” Elliott said.

“We had balloons and were holding signs (during the October protest),” said Curtis, a self-help speaker and author. “The whole idea behind Scientology is to make your critics look like crazed criminals, to villainize them.”

The women said they have friends who they allege were abused while living and working in facilities owned by the Church of Scientology, and vowed to continue to protest.

Supervisor Bob Buster, sharply critical of Stone's proposal when it was introduced two weeks ago, reiterated Tuesday that he felt the anti-picketing measure was over-reaching.

“I don't think the ordinance, whether it prohibits picketing 300 feet ... or 300 miles from a residence, is going have an impact on the concerns being raised here,” Buster said. “If there are hate crimes being planned, there are strong state and federal laws against that kind of thing.

“What seems to be happening is the board is being dragged into a ... particular religious dispute, and I think that's dangerous ground on which to proceed,” Buster said.

Buster put a premium on freedom of speech and the right to assemble guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He said the incidents at the San Jacinto compound failed to justify restrictions on residential picketing.

“If there were ongoing problems countywide, I'd say 'O.K., we need to take some stronger steps,”' the supervisor said.

He also repeated his previous arguments that relocating protesters 300 feet away from a targeted residence moves the problem to someone else's front yard, and said a “moving protest” – in which demonstrators march up and down a street – further complicates the issue by creating public safety concerns.

Buster said he might support a similar ordinance, with different time, place and manner restrictions, as long as the sheriff's department has a chance to weigh in.

Board Chairman Roy Wilson said Stone's proposal was worth “massaging and tweaking,” and recommended that the county's legal team work with the sheriff's department to produce a compromise measure.

Stone agreed, and the board voted unanimously to defer further consideration of the matter to an unspecified date.

Riverside County board puts residential picketing restraints on hold

10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors Tuesday backed off from picketing restrictions supported by the Church of Scientology that supervisors had preliminarily approved last month.

Supervisors stopped final approval of the ordinance and voted unanimously to re-examine its prohibition on picketing within 300 feet of a targeted residence. They agreed to have county counsel and staff retool the ordinance in consultation with the county sheriff's office and Samuel Alhadeff, an attorney representing the Church of Scientology.

"I think we may be going too far with this ordinance," said Board Chairman Roy Wilson. "I think it does restrict the legitimate right to protest."

Wilson then referenced supervisors' participation in 2005 protests at the residence of convicted sex offender David Allyn Dokich -- demonstrations that would have been limited under the new ordinance.

The Church of Scientology backed restrictions on residential protests in unincorporated Riverside County following a demonstration that turned violent outside Scientology's Gilman Hot Springs base in October.

On Nov. 25, supervisors held a public hearing and approved the first reading of the ordinance, on a 4-1 vote.

Tuesday's decision to reconsider followed a five-minute discourse from the podium in which Supervisor Jeff Stone accused Scientology opponents of oppressing Jews, Christians and black people and encouraging youth suicide and terrorism. Stone read from and displayed a pamphlet produced by the Church of Scientology.

Anti-Scientology picketers from the group Anonymous spoke at the meeting and said the church was inventing lies as part of efforts to discredit and harass critics.

"The group Anonymous does not target any religion. The only activity we do is to oppose the criminal activities of Scientology and the cult of Scientology," said Francois Choquette, an aerospace engineer who participated in the October protest.

He called the Gilman Hot Springs base a prison and said the church punishes it members there with beatings.

Catherine Fraser, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, said those statements were false.

Alhadeff said that protesters on dormitories at the Gilman Hot Springs base trespassed and also intruded on freedom of religion.

"There is the hurly burly of democracy, but there is also the right to privacy," he said.

Supervisor Bob Buster cautioned supervisors about getting involved in a religious dispute, and letting that dictate laws for the county.

"The board is being dragged into not so much a protection of people living in houses being imprisoned, as it were, by ongoing protests," Buster said. "But it seems to me we are connecting it to a particular religious group and that to me is dangerous ground on which to proceed with an ordinance that does engage a very vital part of our U.S. constitution."


Well, this is good news. Let the protests resume! :happydance:

And might think about having some anon stay with the car from now on although they may not pull that paticular trick again.