Friday, September 17, 2021

Ordinance to keep protesters away from LA city council members’ homes becomes temporary

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday temporarily approved an ordinance that would prohibit protests within 300 feet of a target’s residence late last month at the homes of two council members in the city’s COVID-19 crisis. A policy developed by activists opposing the -19 vaccine mandate.

The ordinance received 12 yes votes, with Councilwoman Nitya Raman and Councilman Mike Bonin casting dissenting votes. The ordinance required unanimous approval upon its first reading, and will be held until next week, when it will need 12 yes votes to pass.

Ordinances generally require a simple majority upon second reading, but this ordinance includes an immediate clause to take effect immediately after publication. When urgency clauses are included, the ordinance requires approval from three-quarters of the city council.

The proposal to request an ordinance was introduced on 31 August by Council President Nuri Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. Two days earlier, an anti-vaccination protester at a Santa Monica rally shared the addresses of council members and encouraged people to leave. in their homes if they vote yes on an ordinance requiring at least partial proof of vaccination before entering most indoor public spaces.

“We have a week to stop (vaccination) passports… if it’s unanimous, we’re lost. Sharpen your knives, get your guns, get your food now,” said the protester, holding a sign with the home addresses of council members. “….we find out who voted yes and you show up at their house. We need to scare these people.”

After the rally, protesters – including Governor Recall candidate David Alexander Bramante – appeared in the homes of Martinez and O’Farrell.

Before the council voted on the resolution, Martinez discussed the experience of showing protesters at her home.

“There was a group of people at my door, knocking on my door, banging on my windows, harassing my neighbors, talking obscenely in my daughter’s bedroom and yelling at bullhorns to come out of me. And was asking to put my life in danger,” he said. . “Members, frankly, I’ve done the whole thing. I’ve finished the threats… I’m ready to put an end to it.”

Martinez said those who want to oppose elected officials should go to their offices, not their homes.

“None of our employees, any member of our family should be treated like this. My address and my house are not public places for you to come and protest,” she said.

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Speaking from City Hall on Monday during an unrelated news conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly said it was important to protect the rights of private citizens, including neighbors of public officials and those living with public officials. He added that some of the “deepest chapters” in America involve people targeting private homes.

The draft ordinance states that a person who is “aggrieved” by violators of the ordinance can sue for damages. Violators may also face civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. The draft ordinance also included an urgency clause under which the ordinance would come into force immediately after publication, rather than after 30 days, on account of “urgent need to protect elected officers and their employees from threats at their residences”.

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Los Angeles’ municipal code currently prohibits “targeted demonstrations focused on or around a private residence” that take place within 100 feet of an address.

Councilwoman Nithya Raman cast a single dissenting vote on the proposal to develop the ordinance, saying the city should focus on implementing its existing law rather than adding an ordinance that “would have exactly the same problems in its design and its enforcement.” “

Councilman Mike Bonin voted for the proposal but said he had some concerns about a potential ordinance, adding that the city also needed to focus on enforcing existing laws.

“What I want to know is when it comes back as an ordinance, what exactly are we doing to deal with that problem which is very clear to us right now. Whether to incite violence against that person. who was giving a speech that day (in Santa Monica) Are there any charges against Proud Boys (KPCC) reporter Frank Stoltz a few weeks ago? Acts can be prosecuted. This may be a more direct way of approaching the issue.”

The city council will consider the ordinance during its 10 pm meeting. The ordinance requires unanimous approval to be passed on the first reading. If it falls short, it will be reconsidered next week, when it needs 12 votes to pass. Ordinances typically require majority approval on a second reading, but because of the urgency clause, this ordinance would require 12 votes.

Ordinance to keep protesters away from LA city council members' homes becomes temporary
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