Free Speech Ballot Measure Proposed By Occupy San Diego

by on January 4, 2012 · 8 comments

in Civil Rights, History, Labor, Organizing, San Diego

Police disperse Free Speech protestors in San Diego October 28, 2011 (David Hatfield)

Recent Police Crackdowns Mirror Infamous San Diego 1912 Free Speech Fight

January 2012 named “Free-Speech Month”

From Occupy San Diego:

100 years after the San Diego City Council infamously suppressed free speech in downtown San Diego, Occupy San Diego will commemorate this historic event by naming January 2012 as “Free-Speech Month,” and by proposing a ballot measure to amend the City’s municipal code to improve the respect of free speech in San Diego. This amendment will create an explicit exception to the current encroachment law (SDMC 54.0110) to allow for “peaceful picketing, lawful labor activities and peaceful political activities.”

“As San Diego gears up to commemorate the now infamous Free Speech Fights of 1912, Occupy San Diego will present the San Diego City Council with the choice to protect free speech or to repeat the mistakes of a hundred years ago and continue to allow the arrest and imprisonment of peaceful citizens exercising their First Amendment rights in San Diego,” said Martha Sullivan, an active San Diego community volunteer and supporter of Occupy San Diego.

On January 5, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Occupy San Diego will host a press conference on the steps of City Hall announcing its intent to file the ballot proposal, what changes it will make to the current municipal code, and how community members can get involved and help build local support for the initiative.

“We are calling all free-speech advocates to attend the San Diego City Council Rules Committee meeting on January 11, 2012, to influence the Committee’s decision and recommend putting this amendment on the June 2012 ballot,” said Ray Lutz, a former Congressional Candidate who was recently arrested for registering voters at the San Diego Civic Center. “The actions of the city to squelch free speech in the central square of the city are astonishing, over-reaching, and unacceptable.”

Police dispersing Free Speech Meeting, San Diego, California, March 10, 1912. Photograph courtesy of the Labadie Collection, University of Michigan.

Activists will carry submit the ballot proposal immediately after the press conference to City Offices.

“Not only are we commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the San Diego prohibition on free speech on January 20th, said Rachel Scoma, a free speech attorney affiliated with Occupy San Diego, “we will also mark the two year anniversary of Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which now allows corporations to spend unlimited funds to influence political campaigns as a form of political speech. We will be working to educate the people about these important issues and put pressure on the City Council to respond differently than the San Diego City Council did a 100 years ago in the disaster of the Free-Speech Fights of 1912.”

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Bob January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Try getting your captions correct 2012?

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avatar Patty Jones January 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Try not being so testy.

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avatar libconlib January 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Good for them, but this sort of clashes with them wanting to censor political speech (overturning Citizens United).

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avatar SDNEWSMAN1 January 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I filmed this event. I am a cameraman in SD who recently was arrested for the 3rd time in a year for filming. This day here was funny. I was setting up in different offices ahead of this group as they and News Cameras followed them. When I walked into Mayor Sanders Office, and turned on my camera, Mayor Sanders front Office Clerks goes get that camera off, you don’t have my permission to film me. I go I would like your name please, she goes I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU MY NAME, then in walked this group loaded with cameras, I go what are you going to tell these people. She went to the back and came back with two SDPD Mayor Protection staff. I asked for her name again, and she and the 2 SDPD go she doesn’t have to tell you her name, I then had to remind them that she is a City Employee and if want to know who I am dealing with, you do to have to tell me her name, After 5 minutes of that garbage they reluctantly, gave her name

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avatar SDNEWSMAN1 January 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I just couldn’t help but Love her comment as people were presenting papers to have the people have to vote on their 1st Amendment to the Constitution, It just goes to show just how corrupt San Diego County and City as a whole are, when the people have to put the 1st amendment on the ballot, that speaks volumes within itself

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avatar SDNEWSMAN1 January 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Free speech is only allowed in San Diego when the Govt. has propaganda. You don’t see them do this to the people when the Chargers won the AFC West a couple years ago, and the Chargers unannounced, walked out of their Downtown bar and started drinking on the streets. SDPD closed the streets, and let the crowd say and do what ever it wanted, as the likes of Merrimen and crew sucked up alcohol on a downtown street. The emtire area was shut down, with a flash mob mentality. But people saying give me my freedoms get attacked and beaten by these same officers

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avatar Nora Southall January 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

Thanks for the blog article. Really Cool.

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avatar Lois February 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm

What a bunch of sick, ugly, mean thugs. I hope this was one of the photos shown at the City Council meeting this morning.

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