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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 09:53 PM
Original message
Burnsville Man Ticketed While 'Honking for Peace'
Source: KSTP 5

Burnsville Man Ticketed While 'Honking for Peace'
A nuisance or freedom of speech? A Burnsville man says he got a ticket for honking too much during the weekly Honk for Peace event.

Burnsville Police says they started getting complaints about the Thursday event and began taking photographs of the scene at Burnsville Parkway and Nicolette Avenue.

...

Palmer says he believed he was free to honk because last year, the ACLU reached an agreement with Burnsville that police wouldn't ticket people honking for peace.

One of the group members snapped pictures of police taking pictures of them and passed them along to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Read more: http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1028890.shtml?cat=1



Recently I made a post on here about the police surveillance of this vigil outside Republican Congressman John Kline's office, now the story has started to receive some attention from the press. As soon as I get just a few more details I will be writing an update, but the ACLU is looking into this case and it is looking more and more like a major battle for free speech rights could come out of this.

If you watch the video at the link you can catch a quick glimpse of me early in the segment. Watch for the large red banner that says "Support the Troops, End the War" and that is me holding it on the left side along with Coleen Rowley on the right.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. Geez...I don't know...It doesn't help the cause by pissing people off.
Most people hate car horns and associate bad stuff with them...
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The response we get is very positive
We get lots of honks of support and peace signs, the only people who seem pissed off are the right-wingers who hate our message and they are in the minority.
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Duckhunter935 Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That is not what the horn is for.
It should only be used when you need it to get somebodys attention quickly as in avoiding an accident. Like yelling fire in a theater.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. wow
5000 DEAD Americans and about 1,000,000 DEAD Iraqis a few hundred thousand of whom had to have been CHILDREN and you're concerned about horn etiquette.

wow, just holy fucking wow.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. And honking a horn is going to change or end that?
I haven't decided yet where I come out on this particular case--and FWIW, I am a pacifist--but I can see excessive honking both causing an accident and turning people off way before I can see it ending a war.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Honking a horn is a public "voice"; it sends a social message. It's a democratic action.
Edited on Wed Jul-15-09 07:25 AM by patrice
Amongst other things it says something to members of your community like "It's okay to go against what the media is telling you. It's okay to disagree publicly with "your" government's actions."

"Excessive" anything may or may not support of whatever it claims to be about, but we don't have the data nor a defintion of what is excessive, so that's a moot point.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. It gets people to think about the war...
No one thinks that honks will end the war, but when people honk to affirm their support that puts the war in their minds and it may even inspire them to get involved. This is about reminding people there is a war going on and putting that war at the front of their minds and hopefully inspire a few of them to get active in stopping it. Protest has long been a very effective means for ordinary citizens to get their message out without spending millions on lobbyists or television ads, we are not going away.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
21. I think you're talking about apples and oranges. It's not the protesting that...
..some people get irritated by...it's the sudden and constant noise.
I hate Automobile horns except for warning other drivers about danger.
Most people even get pissed when some asshole blows his/her horn as you're walking by their car at a Mall. (They're checking the security in the car).
People don't like to "Jump out of their skin"
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Interesting you should cite "yelling fire in a theater", do you know where that phrase comes from?
It turns out no one ever yelled fire in a crowded theater, but that phrase was used by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes to describe the actions of an anti-war protester who handed out leaflets opposing the draft during World War I. The case was Schenck v. United States, and it was later overturned by Brandenburg v. Ohio. Yes, the case that produced the saying "yelling fire in a crowded theater" was a case in which the legal precedent has been overturned, and it is now clear the person who was convicted in that case had his free speech rights violated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater

And courts in other parts of the country have disagreed with you on the proper uses for the horn. Here is a very similar case from Detroit in which the judge clearly ruled there is a right to honk for peace:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/02/01/6787

When this first started happening some friends of mine asked for all records of tickets issued for improper honking in the past ten years. Outside of the vigil the police did not ticket one single person for honking in the past decade, at the vigil at least four have been ticketed. The police are clearly targeting this event for the message, and that is illegal.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Since the Schenck case did not involve a person arrested for yelling fire in a crowded theater,
Edited on Wed Jul-15-09 06:38 AM by No Elephants
overruling of the Schenck case does not affect the validty of the example given by Justice Holmes, which has been repeated many times since. On the other hand, since the SCOTUS has never decided a case involving yelling fire in a crowded theater, the example is only an example and not the supreme law of the land.

Point is, just because something is speech, doesn't mean you are free to say it whenever you want, wherever you want, under any cirumstance you want and at any decibel level you want.

Same principle with religion. You may honestly believe with all your heart that God wants you to marry an 8 year old--or six of them--but that does not mean the Free Exercise clause protects you from getting arrested for statutory rape or bigamy.

Now, all that is a separate from whether arresting someone for "honking for peace" is a burden on freedom of speech that the SCOTUS would accept. And that may depend on whether people would also get arrested for honking to support the war(s), or honking to support a favorite sports team. And maybe also on whether the honking occurred at 3 am or 3 pm. And how close to a residential area it occurred, etc. In other words, is the restriction neutral and reasonable, or is it because of the particular message or arbitrary?

On the other hand, there was a specific agreement between the police and the ACLU on this issue.

Hard to say how the SCOTUS might come out either way on this, if this case ever gets there.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. If the police start prosecuting people for honking it will put a chill on protests
It has long been a tradition to honk for protesters, if this is prosecuted as a crime it will have a chilling effect on protests all across the nation. In the past the courts have affirmed the right to honk for peace because they recognize that honking has long been a way for people to express their support for the message. The fact that the Burnsville Police have never ticketed anyone for honking for anything other than peace in the last decade proves that they are selectively enforcing the law based on political content. It is illegal for the police to enforce the law selectively on the basis of political content and that is exactly what they are doing.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. I just want it to add that I find it disgusting that you would compare honking to pedophelia
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. If this is so, then why is it tied to the door locks?
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. I thought it was for getting the neighbors to get the person out of bed
for me, instead of me actually getting out of the car, walking to the door, and knocking ...
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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. knr
In our small town the honking is wonderful when the Friday afternoon protesters ,who have been there for almost 8 yrs, hold up their signs. the police even honk here.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for the work that you do Bjorn Against. Know that we are holding up our end of
the struggle here too.

Solidarity!
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-14-09 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. awesome banners !
I think the burnsville police have better things to do than harass motorist honking at peace banners.

Isn't Rep John Kline the same one who never meets with his constituents and after 6 or 7 years of being in office he has had only 1 townhall meeting ? Unlike the other Reps (except Bachman) who have had 4-6 per year.

Isn't Rep Kline the guy sent from TX by Karl Rove to try and turn the Suburbs in to Red pockets?

He probably really hates Free Speech. I think he was also one of the co-sponsors of the Military Commissions Act. Funny how a guy who has swore to uphold the constitution. 1x when he was in the military, and 2x swore into office.. he just doesn't get it.

How sad the cops are used in such a way. Maybe they could be stopping break ins and drive by shootings that happened there a couple weeks ago by some teenagers.
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
9. If they can get a ticket for it, they will. Guess that is the lesson.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
11. Might've understood it if he'd been
bonking for peace whilst driving.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Bonking for peace? Sign me up! n/t
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-15-09 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. There's already a half mile long queue
:rofl:
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