Steve Watson
July 19, 2011

Free Speech

Small government is increasingly taking a leaf out of the book of big government throughout the US with fresh reports of another city council railing against free speech and the right to assembly.

As Fox 16 news reports, in Gould, Arkansas, the City Council has moved to ban all gatherings and groups, no matter how small from discussing city matters without prior permission from the authorities.

A proposed ordinance would even extend to residents’ own homes and is so broad in its reach that it covers boy scout groups and book clubs. Even dinner table conversations about the local community would technically be outlawed.

“You can’t just come in here, get with four people and decide to start an organization,” Gould City Councilor Sonja Farley told the reporters, adding, “You will go through your city council with legal documentation and get approval.”

The city mayor, Earnest Nash, is standing up for the people of Gould and fiercely opposing the move.

“They can take me to court,” said Nash. “This is America and even though this is Gould, Arkansas, this is still part of America. And in America, you can’t just vote and violate peoples constitutional rights.”

“With this city council, it’s their way or the highway,” Nash added. “They act more like Napoleon Bonaparte. Total domination.”

The mayor has vetoed the ordinance on a technicality, but has warned that if it is reintroduced at an upcoming council meeting next month, it could be passed into law without his approval.

The local Fox affiliate had John DiPippa, Dean of the Law School at the University of Arkansas, examine the proposed ordinance, which he instantly dismissed as unconstitutional, noting “I couldn’t believe that it was real.”

“The truth is the city of Gould doesn’t have the authority to tell anyone that they have no right to petition them, no right to speak and no right to exist in their city,” DiPippa told Fox16.

“The fact is, if it’s aimed at this group, it also extends to you talking to your mother or a church group or any other group that wants to form. A garden club! It’s so broad that it can’t possible comply with the First Amendment,” he added.

When DiPippa attempted to inform the council of his conclusion, members reportedly attempted to have him fired from his job at the University of Arkansas.

As the reporter states in the following clip, under the new ordinance even the interview the station conducted with the mayor would be classified as illegal.

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This is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. As we reported last week, an Arizona woman was arrested recently at a town meeting in Quartzsite after the council ordered henchmen to remove her when they realized she was about to air their dirty laundry.

Despite the fact that the Mayor intervened and confirmed Jennifer Jones had been recognized to speak and had not violated the council’s rules, police still dragged her from the meeting and threw her in jail.

The Quartzsite Police Chief then asked the town council to declare a “state of emergency” in light of the publicity the town received from the incident.

In other recent incidents across the country, local councils and police have targeted residents for innocuous activities such as maintaining front yard vegetable gardens, owning unlicensed dogs, setting up lemonade stands and collecting rainwater.

Welcome to the new Amerika, overrun by corrupt power hungry government from top to bottom.



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