Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.
More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, the National Council of La Raza, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.
The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.
Police to Set Up Unconstitutional “Free Speech Zones”
In the meantime, San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman has come out with very restrictive – and even un-Constitutional – rules for demonstrations in front of the Convention Center, including threats to anti-Trump (and pro-Trump) protesters.
In today’s San Diego U-T, Chief described her contingency plans, where “effective crowd control is crucial to maintaining order.” While Zimmerman stated:
“We do recognize the First Amendment rights of all individuals of people who protest peacefully. I am going to emphasize peacefully,”
she stated that her department –
is creating two “free speech zones” across Harbor Drive from the convention center.
Both are on the grassy strip between Harbor Drive and San Diego Trolley tracks, with the anti-Trump area to the southeast and pro-Trump zone to the northwest, separated by Fifth Avenue. Large portions of both zones have fences and barriers on both sides.
She said protesters on either side who leave the zones would be subject to arrest.
The creation of so-called “free speech zones” has been a typical law enforcement tactic over the last 20 years or so. San Diego Police established such a fenced-in space during the 1996 San Diego Republican Convention – near the Convention Center.
Since then, courts have declared that these zones that regulate and restrict the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment. The framers never intended for people protesting to be walled off behind tall fences and barriers – and the Courts have agreed.