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5 or more gathered together must obtain permit NC

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apc

posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:11 AM
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Compare this to the Phelps'. It's the same thing just less extreme in catalyst. A religious group causes problems for the general public and a law has to be passed to keep them in check.

I have been unable to find the exact wording of this ordinance. If anyone has it would be quite helpful.

As of now it appears a group of people hanging out in a yard, or even right in front of town hall, has nothing to worry about.

It seems clear this ordinance prohibits gatherings in the streets. As stated in the article I sourced, this group was gathering in the streets, taking up business owners' parking spots, blocking business entrances, children were running out into traffic, and actively trying to convert people.

I'm surprised it wasn't already illegal to gather in the streets without a permit. I know I can't go hang out in the street, do all of the above, and not expect the cops to be called.

I'm largely just playing devil's advocate here, but personally I think a little town of 2,000 people has the right to pass just about any law they want.




posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:29 AM
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I agree- If it's a town law..well, okay then, leave it up to the town. They're the ones with the problem, they know how to handel it. I guess it's because people take a specific example, and can see it widely transforming into the bigger picture. Which, in many cases is understandably so. Is this the case? I dont know- OP, you live in this town, or near their you said? Is this part of the bigger picture, or a town 'issue'?
And, more like 'growing' fascism, definitely!



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:35 AM
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Freedom of Assembly is protected by the Constitution; however, that right is certainly circumscribed when the assembly is on another's land, is disruptive, or threatens the public safety.

I think this law is not necessarily unconstitutional -- it depends on how it is used.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:35 AM
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The ACLU will file a lawsuit over this. It violates the first amendment along with civil rights violations.

The comments on communism is very true. This is not communistic; it is unconstitutional, a lawsuit waiting to happen which will bankrupt the community, and FASCISTS


apc

posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 07:49 AM
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Whether or not this violates the 1st Amendment is questionable. However the ACLU isn't going to lay a finger on this. It's a Christian group, after all. If it had been a gathering for NAMBLA or CAIR, they'd have filed suit yesterday.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by Vikturtle
apc I agree these folks are probably creating a nuisance and I recognize that folks don't want to hear praying or be approached from strange religious zealot, but this bespeaks of some very scary policies being put into place.


Really, it's something they felt forced into to address a problem of complaints about street preaching teams.


I'm from Georgia and next week my mom's having surgery. I am sure at some point there will be a dozen or so of us outside praying when she is taken under the knife, will that soon be illegal? What about if we're just walking down the street, a family of six or more, will we soon have to get a permit?


No. You're not leading a parade; there's nothing organized about it, you're not hogging a corner or section of a street for hours. We have some of those preachers on campus and they'll stand beside a section of sidewalk and harrangue passers by for FOUR HOURS! For a week or more (until their permit runs out.

This is the kind of problem they're trying to get rid of. Under the Constitution, it's legal for someone to stand around and preach whatever religious sect they like to the masses for however long they like. But these "outdoor preachers" are a nuiscance to shopowners (although a crowd may gather, nobody will shop. Many folks avoid people standing around on the street shouting out inspirational things about a deity (since some of these have mental health problems.)

I'm sure it's a "we can't think of anything esle that's legal" action by the city. Like i said, I've seen them on campus standing on the lawn and shouting out sermons and I know they get complaints. But the bunch at our university are savvy enough to get permits and stand in the free speech area, and restricting them would restrict other activities that we want (sorority rushes and so forth.)



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by apc
Whether or not this violates the 1st Amendment is questionable. However the ACLU isn't going to lay a finger on this. It's a Christian group, after all. If it had been a gathering for NAMBLA or CAIR, they'd have filed suit yesterday.


Actually, the ACLU has gone to bat for Christians and it's not clear that they'd go to bat over this one. As for NAMBLA or CAIR (much as I intensely dislike NAMBLA), niether group stands on the street and shouts witnessing sermons and tries to convert the masses to their beliefs.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:34 AM
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Just wondering, if there's a crowd of 5 or more waiting at a bus stop, do they need a permit?

what about the firemen? if there are 5 or more fighting a fire, do they need a permit?

if you do get together with 5 or more people, and then the police show up, if there are 5 or more of them, will they need a permit?

will a person who has 5 or more personalities need a permit?

if they ever have to evacuate a building such as an office building or hospital, again, you know what the question is...



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 09:59 AM
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This is a dumb ordinance passed in a community of less than 1500 people.

It will never be successfully used and can be easily challenged on a number of grounds.

Frankly, there isn't much of a story here, imo.

[edit on 6-9-2007 by loam]



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:33 AM
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Municipalities CANNOT pass an ordinance that goes against state or federal law..or at least it will never stand in court. it is specific to one group and that is a no no legally.

By the way, the poster above who said that they could be charged with various other offenses is wrong; disorderly conduct requires ' violence or immanent violence ' to be legitimate. Violence, or IMMANENT violence, is an ESSENTIAL element of breach of the peace, which is what disorderly conduct is. There is NO SUCH law as ' civil disturbance ' unless rioting occurs, and the laws of gatherings are established by federal courts already. This is a case of a small town trying to find a way to deal with a group they want gone and sadly this way will fail for sure.

They have tried it with gangs and have had little success, and with a group of church people they will find that as long as the people involved do not : Block the streets, use ' fighting words ' , or panhandle or ask for money aggressively then they are LEGAL and will win this battle. You CANNOT write a law to deal with a specific group of people; it it called ' prior restraint ' and is not lawful. This will be thrown out and fast.

The town politicians are just responding to complaints and doing the things they need to do to get reelected again. Thats all. I live in NC and the laws are specific. No small town can overcome the federal or state laws and to try and do so is a waste of time and money; only the attorneys get rich while the rest of the world laughs at the empty minded drones that are screaming their diatribe on the streets and the town fathers who are trying to misuse the law to get rid of a nusiance. It will never fly.

You cannot pass a law to criminalize past conduct, that is illegal. This ordinance was passed specifically to get rid of street preachers who shout and cause concern in a small town, but those preachers are legally entitled to speak their views, in groups, as they wish as long as no state laws are violated. Otherwise, every group of American Legion members or Moose Club members, Boy or Girl Scouts or anyone else would also be forbidden to gather in groups of five or more without a permit and they would never stand for that.

Also, think of the legal wrangling involved: How does the town prove that these individuals are ' together ' and not seperate entities? How do they claim that these people are together if they stand a few feet apart? Suppose a dozen people with similar views show up at a public location to express their individual views..because of the content of their words will they be lumped together for purposes of enforcment? Or do they have to stand so many feet apart before they are ' individuals ' or part of a group. See? The CONTENT of the speech is NOT allowed to be a factor, so it opens a whole string of legal arguments.

You have to limit everyones rights in order to target a specific group, and that is why this will fail; it violates federal law, state law, and the ACLU will no doubt jump in if it is ever enforced. The CONTENT of the speech and the manner in which it is delivered is of NO consequence to the law; as long as no violence is immanent, there is NO breach of the peace, and therefore no violation. Aggravating people have always been with us, but using the law improperly to try and discourage them is a bad choice and it will fail, mark my words. The first time a person enters court charged with this nonsense, it will be thrown out, guaranteed.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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As Bird touched on, there are of other cities who have faced this problem and passed similar ordinances for similar reasons.

The sky did not fall. The almighty ACLU did not win any cases. Their cities did not turn into communist rule. The prostelizers did finally go a. and get their permits to stay withing the law.

Asking groups to get a free permit does not seem to be illegal, unconstitutional, or against State and Federal laws. (not that I'm an attorney).

Like the law about spitting on the sidewalk, its probably only going to get someone thrown in jail when the push the limits of the law to the extreme.

Interesting that those who toss 'ism's (communism, ect.) don't seem to provide a working alternative resolution to the problem. That is very telling. Especially when the ordinance has not even been published for review.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by BitRaiser


This has nothing to do with Communism.
Fascist? Yes.
Unconstitutional? Yup.
Freakin stupid? Absolutely.

Communist? No.

Remember folks, Russian Communism wasn't ever supposed to be a dictatorship. Communism is supposed to support a free society. The USSR just kinda fouled things up. Kinda like the US is actively doing to Democracy, as dramatically underlined by this article.

It ain't the political system folks, it's the bastards that abuse it.

True. Whoever hears "communism" thinks dictatorship. But the workers of 1900 who started the movement because of the conditions they were living in never thought "let's get together and create a dictatorship"
Communism is opposed to capitalism, dictatorship is opposed to democracy.
But communism cannot work ,people are not good enough to behave as equals even if they are not



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by makeitso
Their cities did not turn into communist rule. The prostelizers did finally go a. and get their permits to stay withing the law.

Asking groups to get a free permit does not seem to be illegal, unconstitutional, or against State and Federal laws. (not that I'm an attorney).


It's not illegal for a city to have ordinances about who can hold what events when and where. This would allow them to say (if, say, the owner of a gas station complained) that "yes you can do your preaching but no you can't do it at THAT corner."



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 02:26 PM
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This seems like a bit of a knee jerk reaction to me. I believe requiring a permit is quite common in communities all over the country. For public safety it makes perfect sense. If someone cares so little about their cause they can not be bothered to obtain a permit their cause has little meaning anyway. Especially if the permit is free and simple to get.

In this case it appears there will probably be another problem in play. By what method are permits denied? Until they publish the law it is hard to know whether it is illegal in some way. The Devil is indeed in the details. What are the criteria to qualify and who decides when to withhold the permit? Those are the things you need to find out.

I can't help but feel they would have done better to sit down with these people and work out a solution. Having grown up in a small town I suspect that probably never happened. Small towns have a way of turning small problems into large ones in the tradition of Daytime Soap Opera's. I wonder if they ever discussed voluntary restraints and predetermined locations for these people to proselytize.

I also believe that part of the problem is that the anti-Religion crowd has grown so militant in nature. It makes perfect sense that Churches feel as though they are under attack because they are. There is a growing number of people who are actively and visibly trying to eliminate Religion from Society. What we end up with is both sides of the argument believing they are in fact saving the other from themselves when in fact they are both trampling all over each others rights. They are both guilty of intolerance and trying to shove their beliefs down each others throats. The sad part is both sides will now be pissed at me for stating the truth. The truth may set a person free but will never make one popular



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Blaine91555

I also believe that part of the problem is that the anti-Religion crowd has grown so militant in nature. It makes perfect sense that Churches feel as though they are under attack because they are. There is a growing number of people who are actively and visibly trying to eliminate Religion from Society. What we end up with is both sides of the argument believing they are in fact saving the other from themselves when in fact they are both trampling all over each others rights. They are both guilty of intolerance and trying to shove their beliefs down each others throats. The sad part is both sides will now be pissed at me for stating the truth. The truth may set a person free but will never make one popular


I agree in cases like these, everybody's rights get trampled upon.

I'm the OP and live on the other side of Greensboro, west of Walnut Cove and I caught this on the evening news last night and I suppose what surprised me was it was aimed at the church. Street preachers are a pretty regular thing down south and have been for all of my life and I guess my concern is how quickly these types of things can get out of hand.

It seems at the town council meeting the residents were not allowed to express their opinions until after the ordinance had passed. The room was at full capacity and people brought chairs to sit outside and listen to the "debate?".

I also agree that this speaks more of fascism than communism as the man in the article called it before he was escorted out of the meeting by the police. I guess he knew it was some kind of "ism".



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 02:56 PM
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i remember stopping at a rest area on the highway once and all i could hear was yelling. as i got closer to the building i could see an older teen standing on the edge of a retaining wall rocking back and forth and shouting about how everyone there was going to hell unless they embraced jesus. he had a van full of buddies just standing around him and nodding the whole time. i must have gotten there towards the end because he calmed down and they all got into their church van and left. this was in NC. i don't care what you believe but if you act like that i have a problem with you. i don't have an issue with that law unless they start enforcing it on families or groups of friends who are minding their own business.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:01 PM
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This reminds me of the recent Supreme Court case involving the Jehovah's Witnesses. "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society v. Village of Stratton"

caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

The City of Stratton had passed an ordinance requiring them to obtain a permit for their door to door preaching activity. The City of Stratton lost. The court ruled that in this case it was unconstitutional to require them to contact the Mayor and ask him if they can practice their religion and the free exercise of their freedom of speech.

I have a feeling that if the ordinance in this town in NC is enforced it will be overruled by a higher court.

As annoying as people like this may be, if you value the constitution you must take the good with the bad.

People in this country love to talk about freedom ,...as long as it is their own.
But are more than willing to restrict others whose opinions, beliefs, and practices are different.

I do not agree with the actions of these Baptists or whatever they might be.
Screaming seldom has the desired effect.
In fact, perhaps they should consider what Ephesians 4:31-32 says.


(Ephesians 4:31-32) 31 Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from YOU along with all badness. 32 But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave YOU.






[edit on 6-9-2007 by Sparky63]



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the article, this is a disgusting breach of civil libeties and only further displays the anti-revolutionary controls at work in western government manifesting themselves in the Nazi doctrine they spawned from.

People have to fight this now before it's too late.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:23 PM
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If this ordinance is enforced across the board, does this mean the a group of soccer moms out for their power walk have to get a permit first? Does anyone really believe that it will be enforced fairly?



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by Sparky63
 


Thats been my concern, across the board it will affect many, but who wields that power and how far they take it is even scarier. And I know it's just a tiny town in the south, but once stuff like this gets rolling, it's hard to stop.



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