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Emergency Action Needed to Protect Free Speech in Miami!

It's important that concerned citizens immediately contact Miami city officials to voice their opposition to this draconian, unconstitutional measure.Tell them you're contacting them to express your opposition to this ordinance which strips away free speech rights - refer to it the parades and demonstrations ordinance; if they ask what you mean, tell them it's item J-O3-772 on the Sept. 25 City Commission agenda, which would add section 6.1 to Chapter 54 of the City of Miami municipal code
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!

This THURSDAY, SEPT. 25, the Miami City Commission will most likely pass an ordinance banning the use and possession of a variety of items related to peaceful protests, demonstrations and protest marches. This includes puppets and other props; street theater masks; signs on sticks; cameras (still and video; used to record the actions of overzealous police); padded clothing (for protection against police truncheons and dogs); bullhorns; gas masks of any kind, including bandannas (used for protection against tear-gas and other dangerous chemical agents often used indiscriminately and recklessly by police), and much more.

The ordinance, which will take effect when passed and expire on Thursday, Nov. 27, is clearly aimed at stifling the voices of the tens of thousands of people - students, union members, activists, peasant farmers and many other types of individuals - from around the Americas and the world who will be coming to South Florida to protest at the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) meeting to be held from Nov. 17-21 in Miami.

This ordinance is an outrageous abridgment of democratic rights and civil liberties, including the right of free speech, the right to protest and the right to assemble. The ACLU and protest leaders have pointed out that the "proposed ordinance ... is so broadly written that it may allow police to clamp down on constitutionally protected, peaceful protest activities." (The Miami Daily Business Review, "As Miami plans to prevent disruptions during trade talks, protest groups warn of First Amendment breaches," Sept. 19, 2003)

The undemocratic nature of this ordinance is in keeping with the undemocratic nature of the FTAA itself. If the treaty creating it, eventually is ratified by the 34 nations participating in the Miami meeting, each country's sovereignty and that of its people will be seriously compromised. Under the rules that would be imposed by the FTAA, decision-making power on economic, social and cultural policies, as well as national development plans will be transferred to transnational corporations and investors located in North America.

It's important that concerned citizens immediately contact Miami city officials to voice their opposition to this draconian, unconstitutional measure. Although the ordinance seems destined for approval, these officials need to know that the eyes of the world are upon them and that their action will be protested rather than allowed to happen quietly. Please take a moment to e-mail them, or if you can afford to, call them. Tell them you're contacting them to express your opposition to this ordinance which strips away free speech rights - refer to it the parades and demonstrations ordinance; if they ask what you mean, tell them it's item J-O3-772 on the Sept. 25 City Commission agenda, which would add section 6.1 to Chapter 54 of the City of Miami municipal code. Be succint and polite, but make sure they understand how you feel.

MIAMI CITY OFFICIALS CONTACT INFORMATION

(below this is an article on this issue and the FTAA, along with a list of web resources on the FTAA)

Mayor Manuel A. Diaz:
 mannydiaz@ci.miami.fl.us
(305) 250-5300

District 1 Commissioner Angel Gonzalez:
 agonzalez@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5430

District 2 Commissioner Johnny L. Winton:
 jwinton@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5333

District 3 Commissioner Joe M. Sanchez:
 jsanchez@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5380

District 4 Commissioner Tomas P. Regalado:
 tr@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5420

District 5 Commissioner Arthur Teele Jr.:
 artteele@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5390

City Manager Joe Arriola:
 jarriola@ci.miami.fl.us
(305)250-5400

City Attorney Alejandro Vilarello:
 law@ci.miami.fl.us
(305) 416-1800

***

Civil Rights
Law and order
As Miami plans to prevent disruptions during trade talks, protest groups warn of First Amendment breaches

September 19, 2003 By: Steve Ellman
Miami Daily Business Review

Miami hopes to be more successful than Washington, D.C., was in 1998 at preventing violence

Two months before thousands of demonstrators are expected to descend on Miami to protest high-level international trade talks, civil liberties activists and anti-globalization groups say police are interfering with free speech rights.

Protesters and their attorneys claim police officials are stalling the issuing of permits that would allow rallies and parades in the downtown area to oppose a planning conference for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

"Permit requests have languished with the Police Department for two months," said Miami ACLU leader Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, who has been counseling a coalition of environmental and peace groups that plan to protest. "We're getting the runaround."

The ACLU and protest leaders say that a proposed ordinance aimed at preventing violent protests is so broadly written that it may allow police to clamp down on constitutionally protected, peaceful protest activities.

City leaders say the ordinance, which was approved on first reading last week, is aimed at preventing violent protests such as those at the World Trade Organization's 1999 meeting in Seattle and other, more recent international conferences.

The pressure is on city leaders and police to provide a peaceful venue for the November talks aimed at creating the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The city wants to impress attendees, because it is in the running to be the headquarters of the 34-nation free-trade zone that would stretch from Argentina to Canada.

Protest leaders say a slide show presented by Miami police for business leaders last week suggested that police may even consider it threatening for protesters to snap photos of crowd control activities.

"We're just trying to make a statement," said South Florida AFL-CIO president Fred Frost. "The police are overzealous about the 2 percent of demonstrators they say are violent."

But Miami Police Maj. Thomas Roell, who will be tactical commander for law enforcement during the FTAA summit, said, "Law enforcement is just trying to strike a balance between the protesters' rights and the trade meeting's rights." He said police "can work with any group that wants to protest in a lawful way."

State and local leaders want to bolster efforts to have Miami selected as the site of the FTAA's headquarters. They claim that would bring as many as 90,000 jobs and an additional $14 billion annually to the state's economy.

And protest groups see the event as a platform to build on growing discontent among U.S. and Latin American workers coping with an extended recession.

Critics of the FTAA argue that creating a hemispheric free trade zone would fuel an international race to the bottom on wages and environmental rules, as nations compete for business investment.

The centerpiece of the meeting is a conference of 34 trade ministers at the Hotel Inter-Continental on Nov. 20-21.

The protesters' plans include two days of rallies and marches. A national coalition of organized labor spearheaded by the South Florida AFL-CIO is scheduled to rally on Thursday, Nov. 20; an environmental/peace coalition, organized as the Welcoming Committee of the FTAA, is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 21.

'Out in the boonies'

The labor coalition wants to secure a permit for as many as 30,000 union members to march down Biscayne Boulevard toward the Inter-Continental. But the AFL-CIO's Frost said Miami police officials have proposed an alternate route several blocks away, along Northwest Second Avenue -"out in the boonies," he calls it.

Frost said the police proposal would block a major goal of the protest march - getting close enough to the trade ministers' meeting "so that they can see 30,000 working men and women voicing our concerns."

He also said the police route was impractical because of its distance from a planned rally and teach-in at the Bayfront Amphitheater, which the union has rented. He said that would make it difficult for the expected large contingent of seniors and families.

Frost said his group applied for its permit in early August, but was unable to get a substantive meeting with police representatives until late last week.

Rodriguez-Taseff said her clients - who call themselves the Welcoming Committee of the FTAA - were given bogus reasons for their permit delay when they met with police last week. "They told us they were unable to clear our application because they still hadn't decided on street closings and traffic routes for the trade officials," she said.

But Rodriguez-Taseff said that claim was belied by a slide presentation police officials made to downtown business leaders last week that included traffic routes.

"We were lied to," Rodriguez-Taseff said.

But city officials insist the plans are still tentative.

City Community Relations Board chair Brenda Shapiro, who is facilitating the march permit discussions, acknowledged that the discussions between the police and the protest groups were uncomfortable. But she blamed the protesters for "sandbagging" the police by bringing ACLU lawyers with them. "It was tense because the city was misled about who would come," Shapiro said. "No one's been given a permit because this is still the information-gathering stage."

Miami Police Maj. Roell said traffic planning would continue to evolve as new march permit applications arrived. Four permits are currently "in process," he said. "There is no cut-off date for accepting more."

The various protest groups were scheduled to meet with police again this week.

Police plan

The police presentations to business leaders last week provide a glimpse into attitudes and planning regarding the FTAA protests.

It describes three purported types of demonstrators - one "union-based" and "nonviolent," a second "anti-government" and "anti-establishment," and a third composed of "fringe elements" that are "mostly nonviolent."

The slide show describes the protests during the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 - at which some of the demonstrators were involved in riots and looting - as "the 'model' for future protests."

Police fears are not without any foundation. Miami New Times has reported that some anti-globalization advocates like the Pittsburgh Organizing Group have openly vowed to "materially disrupt" the FTAA. And violence has been a predictable feature at international trade gatherings for years.

But the slide show offers an extremely broad definition of "protest tactics" to watch out for. It includes protesters pointing out plainclothes police officers, providing first aid supplies to injured demonstrators, and taking photographs. "Protesters create and take advantage of negative photo opportunities" is the caption under a photo of a young man focusing a camera.

Carolina Delgado, a spokeswoman for South Floridians for Fair Trade and Justice, worries that police will see photo-taking by demonstrators as a hostile activity and seek to stop protesters from doing so or even restrain or arrest them.

"Cameras and video are mainly a way to document our movement," she said. "But they also safeguard our interest in preventing police brutality and protecting our rights."

Roell responded that police "have no intention of confiscating cameras from anyone with a legitimate reason to have one. That's not going to happen."

But Rodriguez-Taseff was unappeased. "This is the kind of wishy-washy language that gets us all in trouble," she said. "It opens us up to the unfettered discretion of the police."

Restrictive ordinance

The proposed revision of the city's public demonstrations ordinance raises other free speech concerns, according to critics.

Calling the proposal "overly broad and restrictive," Rodriguez-Taseff said the law's expiration date, set just after the FTAA meetings, shows that it is targeted solely at that event's protesters, a violation of their equal protection and due process rights. If passed into law on second reading, she said a court challenge from ACLU was "99 percent certain."

The proposed ordinance would prohibit demonstrators from carrying a wide range of objects, including golf balls, batteries and "materials or devices that can be thrown or projected that can or may cause or have the potential of causing" personal or property damage.

The attitude of police toward the protesters could work against the FTAA, Rodriguez-Taseff cautioned. "If the FTAA leaders want a successful meeting, they could do better than to throw down the gauntlet," she said.

Delgado expressed concern that a battle over civil liberties issues could obscure the protesters' larger political and economic message about the dangers of the free trade agreement.

"We know how important free speech is," Delgado said. "But we are here to talk about the threat to labor and the environment and democracy."

Steve Ellman can be reached at  sellman@floridabiz.com or at (561) 820-2071.

***

Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America
 http://www.asej.org/ACERCA/ftaa
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American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
 http://www.aflcio.org/stopftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Citizens Trade Campaign
 http://www.citizenstrade.org/ftaa.php
------------------------------------------------------------------
Communications Workers of America
 http://www.cwa-union.org/international/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Convergence of Movements of the Peoples of the Americas
 http://www.sitiocompa.org/English/focusareas/1.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------
First Hemispheric Meeting Against Militarization
 http://www.antimil.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Fair Trade Coalition
 http://www.flfairtrade.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Exchange
 http://www.globalexchange.org/ftaa
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Hemispheric Campaign Against the FTAA
 http://www.movimientos.org/noalca
------------------------------------------------------------------
John F. Henning Center for International Labor Relations
 http://henningcenter.berkeley.edu/gateway/ftaa.html
------------------------------------------------------------------
Latin America Solidarity Coalition
 http://www.lasolidarity.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
National Campaign to Stop CAFTA
 http://www.cispes.org/english/Campaign_Against_CAFTA_FTAA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Network Opposed to the Plan Puebla Panama (NoPPP)
 http://www.asej.org/ACERCA/ppp/ppp.html
------------------------------------------------------------------
People's Consultation on the FTAA
 http://www.peoplesconsultation.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Peoplesī Global Action
 http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
 http://www.citizen.org/trade/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Stop the FTAA!
 http://www.stopftaa.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Witness for Peace
 http://www.witnessforpeace.org/tools/tradetools.html

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!





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Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America
 http://www.asej.org/ACERCA/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
 http://www.aflcio.org/stopftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Citizens Trade Campaign
 http://www.citizenstrade.org/ftaa.php
------------------------------------------------------------------
Communications Workers of America
 http://www.cwa-union.org/international/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Convergence of Movements of the Peoples of the Americas
 http://www.sitiocompa.org/English/focusareas/1.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------
First Hemispheric Meeting Against Militarization
 http://www.antimil.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Fair Trade Coalition
 http://www.flfairtrade.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Exchange
 http://www.globalexchange.org/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Hemispheric Campaign Against the FTAA
 http://www.movimientos.org/noalca
------------------------------------------------------------------
John F. Henning Center for International Labor Relations
 http://henningcenter.berkeley.edu/gateway/ftaa.html
------------------------------------------------------------------
Latin America Solidarity Coalition
 http://www.lasolidarity.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
National Campaign to Stop CAFTA
 http://www.cispes.org/english/Campaign_Against_CAFTA_FTAA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Network Opposed to the Plan Puebla Panama (NoPPP)
 http://www.asej.org/ACERCA/ppp/ppp.html
------------------------------------------------------------------
People's Consultation on the FTAA
 http://www.peoplesconsultation.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Peoplesī Global Action
 http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
 http://www.citizen.org/trade/ftaa
------------------------------------------------------------------
Stop the FTAA!
 http://www.stopftaa.org
------------------------------------------------------------------
Witness for Peace
 http://www.witnessforpeace.org/tools/tradetools.html
==================================================================
I sent my message 24.Sep.2003 10:11

wes

>>> Wes Brain 09/24/2003 10:06:41 AM >>>
Dear Mayor, City Attorney & Manager, and Miami's five District Commissioners:

My name is Wes Brain and I am an independent journalist who resides in Ashland, Oregon. I am writing to you in regards to my plans to visit Miami in November to provide media coverage of the FTTA ministerial and the accompanying protests which will take place in your fine city.

My concern is for item J-O3-772 on the Sept. 25 City Commission agenda, which would add section 6.1 to Chapter 54 of the City of Miami municipal code. The ACLU and protest leaders have pointed out that this "proposed ordinance ... is so broadly written that it may allow police to clamp down on constitutionally protected, peaceful protest activities." (The Miami Daily Business Review, "As Miami plans to prevent disruptions during trade talks, protest groups warn of First Amendment breaches," Sept. 19, 2003).

This is a serious concern which may not only inhibit the voices of decent but in my case constrict my ability to provide media coverage during this important time. When the City Commission considers this resolution tomorrow I ask that you look at the "big picture" and side with first amendment rights as guaranteed by our United States Constitution. Such a view is the only one that will assure my rights and others.

Respectfully,

Wes Brain
Ashland, Oregon
(5th great grandson of Roger Sherman, S-Conn, signer of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights

Bring it on! 24.Sep.2003 11:03

Miami-council-members-eat-their-young

I say let them bring it on. If they want to turn turn a couple hundred thousand peaceful protesters into law breaking trouble causers, I say let them and we will see how well it works out for them. I intend to use my freedom of speech, and if they don't like it, tough shit. Besides, we could always take our protest elsewhere.... I mean we needn't grace THEM with our presence downtown, we could always take 100,000 people to the council members' homes to let them know how we feel, or wherever.

Posters 24.Sep.2003 12:51

helper


My Letter 24.Sep.2003 15:41

salaud

Dear Mayor, Councilmembers, and Attorney,

The eyes of the world are upon you. I am writing to voice my strong opposition against passage of this ordinance that will strip American citizens , including Miami residents, of their 1st amendement rights. I can assure you that you have nothing to fear from the protestors that will be coming to Miami and everything to fear from the FTAA. Recent protests in Montreal, Sacramento and Cancun, have been overwhelmingly non-violent. Peoples in Mexico, Central, and South America have even more to fear from the FTAA. The FTAA will bring suffering to them.

Also, you may or may not know that Sacramento attempted an unconstitutional ordinance of this kind during the Agricultural Ministerial. The result of which was a lot of egg on their face. As soon as legal teams hit town, the ordinace was ripped away. The costs of fighting and losing a 1st amendment battle were too costly. I am fairly certain with closer scrutiny you will find the same to be true.

For all the good and bad there is in America one thing we do treasure is our rights to express ourselves freely as guranteed by our constitution. Please do not try to take these away from yourselves and us. Please do not try to take these away from us all because your are scared unnecessarily. You and Miami residents, of which 3 of my sisters and one brother are members, have nothing to fear from these protests. You have nothing to fear from video cameras, gas masks, signs, puppets, bandannas, padded clothing, bullhorns and the like. These are all used to speak with, record speech, or protect one's speech. There is no offense in any of these. The use of guns, knives, rocks, sticks, and other weapons are already not part of a peaceful assembly.

Please do not try to take away our rights. Please do not be scared. The world is watching our country to see what these freedoms we are telling them about are like.

How bout' posting the proposed ordinance 24.Sep.2003 17:21

Darrow

So that we can decide for ourselves?

Re: How bout' posting the proposed ordinance 25.Sep.2003 14:52

chicago indymedia reader

here it is, in all of its madness:

J-03-772
9/11/03

ORDINANCE NO. ___________

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI CITY COMMISSION, AMENDING CHAPTER 54 OF THE
CODE OF THE CITY OF MIAMI, FLORIDA, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "STREETS AND
SIDEWALKS" TO ESTABLISH REASONABLE TIME, PLACE AND MANNER REGULATIONS
CONCERNING MATERIALS AND OBJECTS THAT MAY BE POSSESSED, CARRIED OR USED
BY THOSE PARTICIPATING IN PARADES AND DEMONSTRATIONS, AND PROVIDING FOR
SUNSET OF SAID REGULATIONS AT MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2003;
MORE PARTICULARLY BY ADDING NEW SECTION 546.1 TO SAID CODE; CONTAINING
A REPEALER PROVISION, A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE, AND PROVIDING FOR AN
IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
______________________


WHEREAS, the City's current parade regulations, which govern parades,
demonstrations, rallies and assemblies, were enacted more than twenty
years ago; and
WHEREAS, the statutory and judicial laws governing parades,
demonstrations, rallies and assemblies have developed and are
significantly different than law as it existed at the time of
enactment; and
WHEREAS, current technology, communication and materials available have
altered the manner in which such events occur, and the nature and level
of the activity of those participating in such events have changed
significantly since the enactment of the current regulations; and
WHEREAS, in recent years, civil unrest and disturbance have occurred at
events in many cities, accompanied in some instances by significant
personal injuries and property damage, including injuries and damage
caused by the use of various weapons and projectiles including some or
all of those items specified in Section 2 of this Ordinance; and
WHEREAS, courts have recognized the right of jurisdictions to enact
reasonable time, place and manner restrictions related to parades,
demonstrations, rallies and assemblies while not restricting the First
Amendment rights of groups and individuals wishing to express their
views by such demonstrations, rallies and assemblies; and
WHEREAS, the regulations of the City of Los Angeles restricting the
size, nature and shape of sign handles were recently upheld by the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. See: Vlasak v. Superior Court, 2003
U.S. App. LEXIS 9230. See also: Edwards v. City of Coeur D'Alene, 262
F.3rd 856 (9th Cir. 2001); Foti v. City of Menlo Park, 146 F.3d 629
(9th Cir. 1998); and
WHEREAS, the City of Miami wishes to ensure the safety and security of
those viewing, attending, or participating in parades and assemblies,
the residents and businesses, and the public officials and employees
responsible for handling or overseeing such events on public property
in the City of Miami to reduce or avoid the possibility of personal
injury and property damage; and
WHEREAS, the City of Miami recognizes the First Amendment rights of
those wishing to express their views, both individually and
collectively, on issues addressed at or in future parades, protests,
demonstrations, rallies; and
WHEREAS, based on information obtained by the City of Miami, it appears
that potential exists for civil disturbance and unrest during certain
upcoming events and it is appropriate for the City Commission to timely
enact regulations to be in effect relating to such events to ensure the
safety and well-being of individuals and property, while ensuring the
First Amendment rights of those wishing to associate and to express
their views, both individually and collectively; and
WHEREAS, it is the purpose and intent of the City of Miami, in
enacting the regulations set forth in Section 2 of this Ordinance, to
establish reasonable time, place and manner restrictions for parades
and assemblies to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals and
property, while at the same time ensuring the First Amendment rights of
those wishing to associate and to express their views, both
individually and collectively; and
WHEREAS, in enacting these regulations, the City is cognizant of recent
court decisions that authorize the enactment of reasonable time, place
and manner restrictions, and the City is also cognizant of its
obligation not to improperly restrict the First Amendment rights of
individuals and groups wishing to associate and to express their First
Amendment views on any and all issues, and to do so in a robust,
vigorous manner; and
WHEREAS, the regulations in Section 2 of this Ordinance restrict only
the types of materials that those participating in parades,
demonstrations, rallies and assemblies may have in their possession,
and do not interfere with their rights of association and expression;
and
WHEREAS, the materials restricted or prohibited by Section 2 of this
Ordinance have the potential to be used as weapons and to inflict
personal and property damage, or to provide protection by preventing
permitted law enforcement controls related to those participating in
the use of such weapons and the infliction of personal and property
damage, and the materials have been used for this purpose in events in
other jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, no First Amendment right exists to permit personal and
property damage through use of these materials, and it is therefore,
reasonable and appropriate to restrict possession of such materials as
a prophylactic, reasonable time, place and manner regulation; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission has determined, that in the best interests
of the citizens of the City of Miami, such regulations should sunset at
Midnight on Thursday, November 27, 2003;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI,
FLORIDA:

Section 1. The recitals and findings contained in the Preamble to this
Ordinance are adopted by reference and incorporated as if fully set
forth in this Section.

Section 2. Chapter 54 of the Code of the City of Miami, Florida, as
amended, entitled "Streets and Sidewalks" is amended in the following
particulars:
"CHAPTER 54
STREETS AND SIDEWALKS

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

* * * * *

Sec. 54-6.1. Parade and Assembly Prohibitions.

(a) Definitions.
The term "parade" shall mean any march, demonstration, procession,
motorcade, or promenade consisting of persons, animals, or vehicles, or
a combination thereof, having a common purpose, design, destination, or
goal; upon any public place, which parade, march, demonstration,
procession, motorcade, or promenade does not comply with normal and
usual traffic regulations or control.
The term "assembly" shall mean any meeting, demonstration, picket line,
rally, gathering, or group of three (3) or more persons, animals, or
vehicles, or a combination thereof, having a common purpose, design, or
goal, upon any public street, sidewalk, alley, park, or other public
place, which assembly substantially inhibits the usual flow of
pedestrian or vehicular travel or which occupies any public area, other
than a parade, as defined above.

(b) The following prohibitions shall apply to all parades and
demonstrations:

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person at any parade or demonstration
to carry or possess any weapon, as defined below. For purposes of this
chapter, and notwithstanding any other provision of this code, "weapon"
means any pistol, rifle, shotgun or other firearm of any kind, whether
loaded or unloaded, air rifle, air pistol, paintball gun, paintball
rifle, explosive, blasting cap(s), knife, hatchet, ax, slingshot,
slungshot, blackjack, metal knuckles, mace, iron buckle, baseball bat,
ax handle, chains, crowbar, hammer, shovel, stick, pole or other club
or bludgeon or any other instrumentality customarily used or intended
for probable use as a dangerous weapon.

2. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any sign,
poster, plaque or notice unless such sign poster plaque, or notice is
constructed solely of a cloth, paper or cardboard material no greater
than one-quarter inch in thickness.

3. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any length
of lumber, wood or wood lath unless it is one-fourth inch or less in
thickness and two inches or less in width or if not generally
rectangular in shape, such object shall not exceed three-quarters inch
in its thickest dimension. Both ends of the length of lumber, wood or
wood lath shall be blunt and shall not be pointed.

4. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any length
of metal, plastic or ot
her similar hard of stiff material, whether hollow or solid; provided
that hollow plastic does not exceed three-quarter (3/4") inch in its
thickest dimension, does not exceed one-eighth inch (1/8") in wall
thickness and is not filled with any material, liquid, gas or solid,
may be used to support a sign, banner, placard or other similar
display; however, both ends of the length of plastic material shall be
blunt, and not pointed.

5. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess glass
bottles, glass jars or glass containers of any kind.

6. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess balloons
filled with any material or substance other than air, oxygen or helium.
Prohibited materials and substances include, but are not limited to,
water, paint, or any other liquid, solid, or other gas.

7. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess solid golf
balls, ball bearings, marbles, paint balls or other solid shapes made
of rubber, plastic, metal, wood or any other similar hard substance,
including batteries; provided that nothing is intended to prohibit the
possession of bicycles, wheelchairs and other similar devices that
include ball bearings or other as part of their structure; and,
provided further, that nothing is intended to prohibit the possession
of electronic, electrical or other devices that are battery-operated.
The purpose of this subsection is to prohibit the possession of
materials or devices that can be thrown or projected and can or may
cause, or have the potential for causing, significant personal or
property damage.

8. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess bricks,
stones, rocks, pieces of asphalt or concrete or pieces of other similar
hard materials or substances that are capable of being thrown or
projected.

9. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess spray paint
cans.

10. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any
projectile launcher or other device which is commonly used for the
purpose of launching, hurling or throwing any object, liquid, material
or other substance, including, but not limited to, supersoakers and
watercannons. Nothing in this subsection is intended to prohibit or
restrict those participating in parades, demonstrations, rallies or
assemblies from possessing sufficient amount of water or other liquids
designed and intended for human consumption during such events.

11. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, possess or wear any
gas mask or similar device designed to filter all air breathed and that
would protect the respiratory tract and face against irritating,
noxious or poisonous gases.

12. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, possess or wear a
bulletproof vest as that term is defined in Sec. 775.0846 Fla. Stat.
(2003), or other improvised body armor. Improvised body armor is gear
or attire worn for the purpose of enabling the wearer to engage or
attempt to engage in unlawful activity.

13. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any
Sleeping Dragon Device, with the intent to use the device to deny or
obstruct the public's ability to freely move about on roadways,
sidewalks, or into or out of buildings. For purposes of this
subsection, a Sleeping Dragon Device shall mean a section of pipe, or a
container, filled with weighted material, handcuffs, chains, carabiners
or other locking devices utilized for the purpose of locking a person
or persons to another person or persons or other objects.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit a disabled person from carrying,
possessing or using a wheelchair, cane, walker, or similar device
necessary for providing mobility so that the person may participate in
a parade.

Nothing in this section is intended to authorize the possession or use
of materials, weapons or devices that are otherwise prohibited by any
other local, state or federal ordinance, statute or regulation. The
purpose of this section is to prohibit the carrying or possession of
items and materials that have the potential to be used as weapons to
cause physical or personal damage, and whose possession might not
otherwise be prohibited by local, state or federal law.

* * * * *"


Section 3. All ordinances or parts of ordinances insofar as they are
inconsistent or in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are
repealed.

Section 4. If any section, part of section, paragraph, clause, phrase
or word of this Ordinance is declared invalid, the remaining provisions
of this Ordinance shall not be affected.

Section 5. The provisions of this Ordinance shall sunset at Midnight on
Thursday, November 27, 2003.

Section 6. This Ordinance shall become effective IMMEDIATELY after
final reading and adoption thereof./

PASSED ON FIRST READING BY TITLE ONLY this _______ day of
_______________, 2003.

PASSED AND ADOPTED ON SECOND AND FINAL READING BY TITLE ONLY this
________ day of _________________, 2003.



MANUEL A. DIAZ, MAYOR








ATTEST:



______________________________
PRISCILLA A. THOMPSON
CITY CLERK

APPROVED AS TO FORM AND CORRECTNESS:



______________________________
ALEJANDRO VILARELLO
CITY ATTORNEY

W1524:GKW:et:BSS

Unconstitutional, but not grossly so. 26.Sep.2003 15:51

Darrow

Thank you kndly for posting the full text of the ordinance. My opinion, not that it means anything.

I reviewed the vlasak case where the ninth circuit court of appeals upheld a los angeles ordinance banning weapons and wood up to a certain thickness (1/4 or 3/4 or an inch, I think) and the majority of this proposed ordinance would seem to pass any constitutional test devised by the Supreme Court, ie "time, manner, and place restrictions" on the exercise of free speech (and yes there are such restrictions on free speech. Please don't reply with the standard "but the constituion doesn't say there are restrictions" argument because that is faulty strict construcitonist argument. According to such an argument, the miami ordiance would be wholly constituional because I don't see any prohibition in the constitiution against miami's government abridging the freedom of speech).

Then I saw this gem "Section 5. The provisions of this Ordinance shall sunset at Midnight on
Thursday, November 27, 2003. "

The time provision sells it for me that the ordinance is not content neutral (a legal requirement for a law altering the protected right of freedom of speech) because it is only targeting the FTAA protestors. I will forward a message voicing my diappointment to the mayor and his cronies and I encourage others to do the same.