Councilmen Johnson And Reed Take On Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson In USA Today Newspaper Over His Veto Of Flash Mob Legislation

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 22:14.

Cleveland Ward 8 Councilman Jeffrey Johnson 

Cleveland Ward 2 Councilman Zack Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 Brought to you by The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com. (Editor's Note: Cleveland City Councilmen Jeffrey Johnson and Zack Reed are featured below opposing flash mobs in an editorial that ran today, Saturday, September 17, 2011, in The USA Today Newspaper, a national news venue. The opinion below is that of Johnson and Reed and not The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog. Com. And while we respect both as viable Black leaders, The Imperial Women, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, The Oppressed People's Nation, Black on Black Crime and other grassroots organizations object to any local, state or federal legislation designed to silence free speech, such as protests on issues of public concern, and we collectively support the position by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who vetoed irresponsible legislation pushed by Johnson and Reed and adopted in July by Cleveland City Council on the flash mob issue as overreaching and unconstitutional. We again call on Cleveland Hts. City Council, a suburban city council in a city that borders the predominantly Black major metropolitan City of Cleveland, to nullify its recent unconstitutional and overreaching city ordinance that was adopted around the flash mob issue and requires that Black and other children and teens under 18 are arrested and jailed if caught eating at or otherwise patronizing select restaurants in the city between 6pm and 6am without a parent or guardian. And not all flash mobs have a criminal element. In fact, most don't.The editorial below  really shows the lack of understanding by Councilmen Reed and Johnson of the 1st Amendment's guarantee as to free speech and the right to assemble without the threat of criminal charges. Reed held a festival that drew a flash mob and violence and now he wants community activists harassed. Our protests on issues of public concern are non-violent. Should Reed be prosecuted for organizing an event that resulted in violence?).

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Opposing view: Stop criminal flash mobs, Posted in USA Today, September 17, 2011

 

By Jeff Johnson and Zack Reed

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his 1941 State of the Union address, laid out four principles of freedom, including the freedom of speech found in our Bill of Rights — a freedom guaranteed to all Americans past, present and future. We agree with Roosevelt, but in no way should free speech be used to harm others regardless of what vehicle is used to express it.

In Cleveland, we're working to stop criminal flash mobs by focusing on the people who organize these disruptive "new tech" mobs, and those who participate in a mob's criminal activities. Some question our approach as a threat to free speech. We disagree.

As proven many times, the right to free speech is not absolute. When the purpose of an individual's speech creates an immediate threat of harm, or advocates criminal actions, it is subject to legal limitations. In July we sponsored, and the Cleveland City Council passed, an ordinance making it illegal to use social media to violate city laws, for example, by inducing a riot, disorderly conduct or unlawful congregation. Violators could be charged with this misdemeanor in conjunction with charges for existing crimes. A mob that disrupted a nearby community's festival earlier this summer, plus several upcoming festivals in Cleveland, each made us realize we had to do something quickly. The American Civil Liberties Union opposed our ordinance, and even though it passed unanimously, the mayor vetoed it. His veto was upheld. Still, we will continue our efforts, and hope to work with the mayor and others to fight this problem.

We believe any approach must take into account that using social media to gather a mob is tantamount to inciting a riot. This approach does not find fault with the use of social media to express an opinion, but rather considers the organizer's words as proof of criminal intent.Our approach will protect citizens' free speech while protecting them from becoming victims of crime. There is no difference today in organizing a criminal flash mob via a smartphone vs., as in the past, an individual who stood in front of a mob, bullhorn in hand, urging criminal action. Technology has made it easier to commit certain crimes, but we cannot allow it to provide protection for criminals in ways our Bill of Rights never intended.

Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson are members of the Cleveland City Council. www.usatoday.com

 
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KW Coleman - Thxs 4 bringing Realneo 2sides of flash mob issue

 I worked with Zack on the PutitontheBallot.com campaign and generally respect his opinions.   

However, I am not for restricting social media - as social media  is merely a moderized means of citizens communicating fast and well.

Citizens have the absolute right to rapidly organize and rapidly gather.    

Citizens should not be restricted from effective communication between one another any more than police should give up their radio communications between one another. 

If police feel a little intimidated by the fact that lots and lots of people can now gather very rapidly - then the response from our governments should not be to mandate that citizens will be only allowed to communicate via slow Indian-style "smoke signals", but rather the response must be to get our national social equity house in order to remove any desire of fast gathering folks to act unlawfully. 

So one question I would ask Zack would be:  "hey Zack, if this was the wild west, would you legislate against an Indian being able to carry matches?"  just teasin'

 

 

another side to flash mobbing

 Organizing protest via social media is one thing; I don't think that this is the current worry but I can see that peaceful protesting would be impacted by legislation to limit it.

Allow me to share this: last weekend, an out of control group of about 35 mostly young adults fought it out in front of my house. It was a serious fight, very violent and was about something someone posted on Facebook. This fight had spilled over from down the street as more young adults arrived with cell phones in hand. Too bad my car was parked in the way. Lookouts were organized and were able to let the crowd know that the police were headed in. They quickly dispersed, vowing to continue this fight with each other some other time & place. I was left with damages, shaken to the core, having been caught in something that was the result of wrong time, wrong place.  Then I had to spend hours dealing with broken glass, and arranging repairs that I had to pay for.

 

Too bad you didn't get a video of this crap...

Sorry you had to deal with such chaos in front of your home. Not cool.

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

It's amazing that two Black

It's amazing that two Black councilmen would be behind an attempt to silence free speech where they really want to control activists from protesting. We have protested around the Imperial Murders, etc., and if Zack Reed had is way, I would have been arrested simply for calling a peaceful protest. The legislation that the mayor vetoed was irresponsible legislation and would have trampled upon free speech and put youth and others at risk, Black youth in particular. I bet Zack and Jeff Johnson do not want people silencing what they say on issues of public concern. The legislation called for misdemeanor prosecution if so many people gather regardless of any criminal activity. It is designed to regionally deny people their constitutional right of the freedom to assemble and free speech under the First Amendment where Zack is being guided by the mayor of Cleveland Hts. And for Councilmen Reed and Johnson to call people criminals in U.S.A. Today Newspaper simply for large gatherings is evidence of the extent they will go.

Zack Reed's annual festival

Zack Reed's annual festival is a flash mob and it is often surrounded by violence. Should he be prosecuted? He and Johnson want to control free speech and if the legislation passes we shall call for Reed's festival to be discontinued.--Kathy Wray Coleman

SHHHHH....HUSH UP.....BE QUIET....DON'T TELL THE TRUTH!

These men have learned to play "POLITICS" that violate the public at large....

 

It's quite funny to see these same men walking the walk and talking the talk on the far west side at events for Sweeney neighborhoods like the Kamm's Corner's festival Zac Reed attended a couple years ago...

 

Hush up the people, ignore them, and pretend like you don't hear their demands for social justice and pretty soon they will hush up and be quiet and you can return to business as usual violating their rights at City Hall.... that's the game....

IGNORE THE TRUTH! PLAY DUMB! THEN RUB ELBOWS WITH THE PLAYERS and Scratch each other's backs to accomplish your steering games with federal funds.

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

The USA Today editorial by

The USA Today editorial by Cleveland Councilmen Zack Reed and Jeff Johnson is an attack on free speech, a guarantee that is sacred to bloggers--Kathy Wray Coleman--Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney went along with the legislation to quash free speech that Mayor Jakson rightfully vetoed. Sweeney is no different than Reed and Johnson on this issue, arrogant as to a disrespect of the constitution and uneducated on constitutional law and its mandates---Study fellas rather than running around taking self-serving pictures and showing off--Kathy Wray Coleman

 DW. Thanks for the above.

 DW. Thanks for the above. But you do know that laws are already in place for criminal behavior by people, even in large groups? The  Cleveland City Council Zack Reed legislation was ambigious at best around the flash mob debate, causting constitutional issues and the mayor was right it vetoing the flash mob ordinance. It reads as follows:

Passage would enact a new section to the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland – Section 605.0091 Improper Use of Social Media:

(a) No person shall use social media to induce persons to commit the offenses described in Codified Ordinance Sections 605.03 Disorderly Conduct; Intoxication, and/or 605.09, Unlawful Congregation

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of improper use of social media, a minor misdemeanor
This is an addition charge to disorderly conduct, intoxication and/or unlawful congregation and not a standalone offense.

 

 DW. Thanks for the above.

 DW. Thanks for the above. But you do know that laws are already in place for criminal behavior by people, even in large groups? The  Cleveland City Council Zack Reed legislation was ambigious at best aroun d the falsh mob debate, causting constitutional issues and the mayor was right it vetoing the falsh mob ordinance. It reads as follows:

Passage would enact a new section to the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland – Section 605.0091 Improper Use of Social Media:

(a) No person shall use social media to induce persons to commit the offenses described in Codified Ordinance Sections 605.03 Disorderly Conduct; Intoxication, and/or 605.09, Unlawful Congregation

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of improper use of social media, a minor misdemeanor. This is an addition charge to disorderly conduct, intoxication and/or unlawful congregation and not a standalone offense.

social media

social media is here to stay. Take away Facebook and cell phones and quick connections and people will still mob to fight, destroy, and beat on each other. They have managed it well in the past, and laws on the books have been useless unless the people are caught on the spot.

 

I agree that trying to restrict the use of social media in a restriction of the right to speech and the right to congregate. 

You'd think that people would use it to organize more protest on the wars, the poverty, and the fact that people are starving and homeless, but somewhere along the way, the energy faded.

 Typos corrected

 Typos corrected below--Kathy Wray Coleman

 DW. Thanks for the above.

 DW. Thanks for the above. But you do know that laws are already in place for criminal behavior by people, even in large groups? The  Cleveland City Council Zack Reed legislation was ambigious at best around the flash mob debate, causting constitutional issues and the mayor was right it vetoing the flash mob ordinance. It reads as follows:

Passage would enact a new section to the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland – Section 605.0091 Improper Use of Social Media:

(a) No person shall use social media to induce persons to commit the offenses described in Codified Ordinance Sections 605.03 Disorderly Conduct; Intoxication, and/or 605.09, Unlawful Congregation

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of improper use of social media, a minor misdemeanor. This is an addition charge to disorderly conduct, intoxication and/or unlawful congregation and not a standalone offense.