Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)

    Panel makes new rules on protests at State Capitol
    Howard Fischer
    Capitol Media Services
    1/21/2012 2:53:00 PM

    State Rep. Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson, was among several speakers at a press conference last year objecting to legislation to deny citizenship to children whose parents are in this country illegally. Under new legislative rules adopted Thursday, Wheeler and others would first have to get a permit.

    PHOENIX -- Protestors at the state Capitol are going to face new restrictions, beginning immediately.

    On a party-line vote, members of a special legislative panel voted late Thursday to ban bullhorns by those marching in the space between the House and Senate. But the new rules also say that even protestors without amplifiers can be shut down if it is determined by the Senate president, the House speaker, or Mike Braun, the appointed head of the Legislative Council staff that they are being so loud as to be "disruptive to the conduct of governmental business.'

    Amplified events and those with any type of equipment, whether simply a podium or a tent, are still allowed on the adjacent House and Senate lawns. And existing rules already require an application.

    But the new regulations require applications to be submitted at least 10 days in advance. Braun, as the Legislative Council staff director, could waive those rules only if an applicant can "demonstrate the impracticality' of meeting that deadline.

    Press conferences between the House and Senate would not require a permit -- unless those staging the event wanted a podium or stand for microphones. And, podium or not, a permit would also be necessary for any press conference lasting more than a half hour, or where those involved have brought along more than two stationary flags.

    Also forget about all-night vigils, overnight protests or the kind of "occupy' movements that have sprung up around the country: The rules allow the Department of Public Safety to remove protestors at 10 p.m.

    And that curfew on protests -- even silent -- still applies even if the Legislature is in late-night meetings beyond that hour, something that often occurs toward the end of the session.

    The changes drew protests of a different kind from the Democrats on the Republican-dominated Legislative Council, the committee of lawmakers which is empowered to set rules for the Capitol grounds.

    "I think these regulations are a violation of the First Amendment,' complained Senate Minority Leader David Schapira.

    He said he has no problem with a ban on bullhorns and amplifiers right in front of the House and Senate doors.

    "But a bunch of people gathering and just being loud, which is a subjective standards, I don't think that's our right to stop citizens of our state from gathering in a public space outside of the state Capitol, especially addressing concerns that happen here at the Capitol,' Schapira said.

    House Speaker Andy Tobin defended the rules as necessary.

    He acknowledged that the new rules set no definition of what exactly is too loud. But Tobin said if that becomes an issue, the rules could be amended to set a specific sound decibel level as acceptable.

    House Minority Leader Chad Campbell specifically objected to the requirement that those who need a permit must apply 10 days ahead of time.

    Braun pointed out his ability to waive that for those who could not possibly meet the deadline. For example, he said, a group interested in a particular piece of legislation might get notice of less than a week that measure is set for a hearing.

    Campbell, however, said he sees too much opportunity for political mischief, if not by Braun than those who succeed him: The Legislative Council director can be hired and fired at the whim of the lawmakers on the Legislative Council which is controlled by the majority party.

    "I think we're putting a lot of power into the hands of one individual to decide whether or not some organization or some effort out there if their event or their activity is important enough to waive this 10-day rule,' Campbell said. "We're putting the ability for politics to play a big role in preventing people from coming down here on a moment's notice and demonstrating or expressing their opinion.'

    Braun, however, pointed out that no permit is required simply to protest in front of the House and Senate if there is nothing being set up. He said protests, complete with banners -- but no bullhorns or excessive noise -- remain entirely unregulated.

    Tobin said the Democrats were making a big deal out of nothing, even suggesting that their objections were for the benefit of reporters watching the hearing.

    "There's no freedom of speech issue here,' he said.

    "People who come down here to be part of the process are always welcome,' Tobin continued. "But people coming down here to be part of the process also shouldn't be harassed.'

    Kathryn Kobor, who said she comes to the Capitol regularly to protest against illegal immigration, said that's precisely what has happened to her.

    "I have been chased with a bullhorn many times up and down the plaza,' she told lawmakers. "That hurts, it really hurts.'

    Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said while the plain language of the rules appears to be neutral, he thinks the motives for enacting them are not.

    "You don't have protestors coming out and supporting the majority and the legislation they're passing,' Gallardo said. "It's opposition. And that's what they're trying to block.'

    Gallardo, who is not a member of the Legislative Council but watched Thursday's action, will be affected by the rules. He regularly calls press conferences in front of the Senate and even has one set for this coming Monday to talk about his effort to repeal SB 1070, the 2010 far-reaching measure designed to give police more power to detain and arrest illegal immigrants.

    Sen. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, a member of the Legislative Council, said he does not think the changes will survive a court challenge. He said some provisions, like whether unamplified sound disrupts the Legislature, are too subjective.

    Another new rule prohibits protests within 10 feet of any side of the House, the Senate or the Old Capitol. Braun said this is necessary to ensure that pedestrians can get to and from those buildings even during demonstrations.

    Panel makes new rules on protests at State Capitol - Camp Verde Bugle - Camp Verde, Arizona
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    New Alien City-(formerly New York City)
    Added to the Homepage with amended title:
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    While I certainly do not support advocating illegal immigration, I do support the 14th Amendment.

    What is ironic about this is that many of those picketing for the right to demonstrate are either ILLEGAL ALIENS, or have them either living with them or they are their close family.
    Join our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & to secure US borders by joining our E-mail Alerts at

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts