I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
In my post titled: Cudahy Common Council Meeting Dec 2nd, 2008 (includes audio file) a reader reached out and posted the following comment:
“Randy, is there anything the citizens can do to still make the Wal-Mart happen? What about a protest outside city hall, and try to get as much news coverage as we can? WISN radio has been doing a good job, but I think more exposure is needed. I hate to see this just end like this. What can we do?”
While out and about the city having my daughter’s picture taken with Santa, a few people came up to me and asked me basically, “Yes what can be done?”
Which I replied to the people and the reader that reached out:
“It is the right of people to protest, but someone would have to come forward and lead and organize it! I will look into it.”
I also received an email about a possible City Hall protest:
“Good. If I can get off of work, I will be there, and I will drag my mother along. Thank you again.”
So I decided to email the Cudahy Police Chief Thomas D. Poellot and CC’d in the Mayor and Common Council members for information.
Here is what I said:
“Dear Police Chief Poellot,
It has been asked how can Cudahy citizens lawfully protest at City Hall. What would be the do’s and don’t of the protest? I would not want anyone to get arrested, but don’t want to squash the First Amendment right of free speech and the Right to Demonstrate and Protest.
I fully understand that the First Amendment prohibits restrictions based on the content of speech. However, this does not mean that the Constitution completely protects all types of free speech activity in every circumstance. Police and government officials are allowed to place certain non-discriminatory and narrowly drawn “time, place and manner” restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights.
I also just want to clarify that an organized group can gather and protest at City Hall.
I know that generally, all types of expression are constitutionally protected in traditional “public forums” such as public sidewalks and parks. Public streets can be used for marches subject to reasonable permit conditions. In addition, speech activity may be permitted at other public locations such as the plazas in front of government buildings, which the government has opened up to similar speech activities.
This is coming to light due to the Common Council and the Mayor’s decision not to allow the MOU for the Cudahy Station to be passed, thus closing the doors on Wal-Mart.
Some feel this is unjust and that the City, most notably the Common Council and the Mayor, are not listening and following the voice of the people, so the people must voice louder and be visible.
I am not coming to you with the intentions of leading or supporting a protest at this time, however, I am addressing these questions in order to provide the answers to many of the other City of Cudahy residents that will or have contacted me to investigate their rights.
The gracious response back from Police Chief Poellot is as fellows:
“I would be happy to sit down and talk to the protest organizer. We can talk about how many people the organizer expects and what accommodations can be made for that amount of people. I would like to keep traffic safely flowing on the street and make sure that access and egress at City Hall is not impeded. Due to the close proximity of the High School, another concern that I have is for students going to or coming from school. I wouldn’t want to have kids having to walk out into traffic to walk around people blocking the sidewalk.
As far as the do’s and don’ts of protesting, I’m sure that we’re on the same page. I don’t believe that these folks want to come here to break the law. No one wants intimidation or harassment of others, property damage, injury or other unlawful conduct.
I don’t know if anyone’s heart is set on City Hall as the location, but it’s always possible that an alternate location would work for the organizer.
Again, I would be happy to sit down and talk to the protest organizer.
Thomas D. Poellot, Chief of Police
Cudahy Police Department
5050 South Lake Drive
Cudahy, WI 53110-6108
Phone: (414) 769-2260
Fax: (414) 769-2259
If someone were looking at organizing a protest at City Hall, I would post the information you wish to have out just email me the information @ firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in the comment section.
Just remember it is within your right to protest if you so choose to, just do it lawfully!
Time doesn’t change a man’s word, but you learn his sincerity of action during it!
Here was a suggestion I received on this subject:
“In case the party of whom you requested the info will not be of assistance, I offer the following. According to our constitution, we all have the right of "Peaceful Protest.”
This includes utilizing the sidewalk in front of city hall property to march back and forth in an orderly manner utilizing signage and verbal chants so long as they do not disturb the peace in volume.
You may not disrupt traffic either foot or vehicle, you may not block driveways or stop vehicles or pedestrians. If one is so inclined to utilize their constitutional rights to Peaceful Protest, it may be advisable to contact the media so as to gain full advantage of the situation and inform the citizenry of Cudahy in a manner as to maximize the effect of the protest.
One thing to remember is that the police department will probably monitor any protest march that takes place and it is advisable to stay within the letter of the law. I would also suggest that you check to see if there are any permits are now required for protest marches or "parades,” since the executive branch of the city government may have factored this into the equation already.
Jay Weber Talking about Oak Creek Booming and Cudahy NOT
With Oak Creek’s Mayor Chasing retail. (located at the end of the pod cast)
Pod Cast Here