Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento city hall grounds are getting new ground rules for protests.
First Amendment rights activists are already up in arms.
“It’s interesting the city has existed for 150 years without this law, now we need it? Why?” asked Jeff Kravitz, a civil rights attorney.
Councilmember Jay Schenirer says the new rules are for city worker safety.
But, is that a serious concern?
“I don’t think we’ve had problems. Although, we’ve had some protesters sleeping on the front lawn,” said Schenirer.
Schenerir says he’s worked with union groups to find a balance between safety and free speech, specifically during council meeting hours.
“If you want to come out here and have a protest when the city council is meeting, that’s not a problem. There’s no fees, there’s no barriers to doing that,” said Schenirer.
But changes are coming; there will be a ban on amplified sounds during the day.
No drum, horn, whistle, rattle, clapper, or cowbells will be allowed, so Kings fans beware.
“They’re going to find some city worker saying they’re upset by that,” said Kravitz. “What’s the difference between that and someone saying I’m upset because the Catholic Church rings its bells on Sunday morning?”
The proposed ordinance also bans the public from city hall grounds overnight, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“You know we’re not going to take this sitting down. We’re going to make our stand,” said an Occupy protester.
Round-the-clock occupy protesters will face arrest.
“First of all the First Amendment does not stop at 11 o’clock at night, that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Kravitz.
“We want to make sure that it’s all balanced,” said Schenirer.
These are Sacramento city hall’s new rules, protesters be prepared.