Monday, August 18, 2008

Jamiel's Law: ACLU, Where Are You?

Jamiel's Law: ACLU, Where Are You?
By Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles,
August 18, 2008

Villaraigosa and the City Council won't let our police protect you and your family from illegal alien gang bangers, but apparently have no qualms about deploying the police, in significant numbers, with air support, to "protect" you from the Shaw Family's effort to get your signature on the petition to put Jamiel's Law on the ballot.

Please read Althea Shaw's report at the Mayor Sam website to learn the details of the shameful "raid" City Hall staged yesterday. The police actually told Mr. Shaw he could not gather signatures at a public park, but would instead have to go door-to-door.

Now, I realize our Mayor never passed the bar exam, despite four tries, so let me set forth, for his benefit, the text of the First Amendment:

"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."

The First Amendment applies not just to Congress, but to state and local government, by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. [
Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 666 (1925).] Sections 2 and 3 of the California Constitution likewise protect freedom of speech and the right to petition.

Obviously City Hall does not "get" it. Instead, they seem to be applying "laws" from totalitarian nations, where police are rountinely used to intimidate dissidents who have the audacity to challenge the status quo. Is L.A. even part of America any more?

So this brings us to my question: ACLU, where are you?

This disgraceful "raid" on the Shaw Family is EXACTLY the kind of abuse of government power that the ACLU should combat: a city using its police force to harass American citizens, peaceably assembled in a public park, to gather signatures on a petition for a ballot measure. The Shaw Family has a constitutional right to petition in public places, and no obligation to go door-to-door.

How about it, ACLU? Will you step up to the plate and protect Americans' civil liberties? Will you file a lawsuit right now to enjoin this abuse of police power? Maybe you can do what the People's Law School failed to do despite having had Villaraigosa as a student for three years: make him understand the law.

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