First, the bad news:
The "Repression of First Amendment Freedom" ordinance, also known as the "Big Cup of Shut Up", passed the City Council today. Since I was one of those excluded from the Council chamber I don't know just what the vote was. There were several courageous aldermen who voted "No". They are Defenders of First Amendment Rights and should be congratulated. If anyone has the information on the vote breakdown please send it to me.
Second, the great news:
Alderman Richard Mell has asked me/us to write a "White Paper", that is, a proposal to City Council to describe what a Chicago that welcomes freedom of speech for the G8/NATO demonstrators, or for that matter, anyone who wants to exercise our First Amendment rights, would look like. He genuinely wants to hear what we have to say. He also has great influence with his colleagues.
This is an opportunity for us to envision and present what we would like to see. We are being asked to be proactive, not just reactive to proposals by the Mayor.
The process of writing the proposal will take place on the Google Group "First Amendment Freedom Chicago".
To be a contributor to this process you MUST be on the Google Group http:// groups.google.com/group/first-amendment-freedom-chicago
If you are NOT already a member of the group please click here and follow the instructions to ask to join.
The First Amendment Freedom Chicago is a moderated group. Your request to join must be accepted by the moderator, Nancy Wade. Every request to join will be accepted. We will have some ground rules about civil discourse, but the goal is to be inclusive, not exclusive. Anyone can request to join and will be accepted, but the group will not be a "public" group in the sense that people can automatically sign up.
Let's get thinking together and help shape what we want to see happen in our city! We want Chicago to be a model of welcoming the G8/NATO demonstrators – let's propose our vision of what that should look like.
Looking forward to developing solutions with you,
Green Party Candidate for Congress 5th District IL
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