|Mayor Foster in front|
In Peekskill, New York Mayor Mary Foster, a democrat, issued her ban by fiat and the good citizens are outraged. They, like most Americans have decided to do a elevated amount of protest and make applause more evident. Challenging Americans usually makes them want to do something even more. We all learned that when we were young didn't we? It appears the restrictions backfire when it comes to what people consider a basic "right" under the Constitution.
In New York, the council has forgotten that people like to show support for things they agree with by clapping, cheering, and at sporting events by stamping their feet. It is totally natural and hard to control. I was very happy to see people at the debates of the Republican candidates for President applauding and cheering when the agreed with something said. For too many years the attendees at the debates were scolded to not show any outward forms of agreement. I never agreed with that and I think it takes the fun out of debates when those the candidates are trying to convince are not allowed to make a "joyful" noise. It made me wonder what the debate officials were afraid of?
Well, in New York, the Council, many who are running for reelection next year, including the Mayor, are getting a taste of what really makes Americans mad in regards to free speech. My bet is these people will be booted because they have stirred up a hornets nest of people really PO'd about this.
My experience with this king of proposed restriction of free expression is to let the folks alone. Most of the time people are energized for a particular issue and will turnout for that issue and be boisterous. Once decided the folks are satisfied and they go home. When not allowed to be boisterous you get the reaction and prolonged activism against a stupid rule as this Mayor and Council are discovering. I would suggest any officials considering shutting down a show of clapping should reconsider.
It appears the Oakland City Council is even considering shutting down the OWS-Oakland folks from their encampment across the street from City Hall. Democrats have run that City for most of my life and they consider themselves the most "progressive" city of their size in California. My guess is the city has been so negatively impacted by the OWS scofflaws (the violent ones) that the Council is being faced with the decision of supporting these folks ideologically, or dealing with the citizens, he taxpayers and business people. Oh my, leadership, what a hoot!
So, I would suggest any body of decision makers considering a shutting down of free speech or expression and even assembly, no matter the source, should be very careful. There are basic tenets in America, left or right (no violence though) and the people will not be happy if you try and ban them or shut them down. The Mayor of Peekskill is finding that out first hand.