The spontaneous parades that brought downtown Danbury to a halt last year after World Cup soccer matches ignited a debate about spontaneous parades.It's bad enough that the morons at the News-Times didn't even bother to send a reporter to May's Common Council meeting (choosing instead to chase another knee-jerking immigration story in New Haven), they:
Did the city have any recourse against such disruptions? Was there a way to require some advance planning and prior notice to Danbury police? Was all this simply attributable to cultural misunderstandings?
Last week, after much debate, the Danbury Common Council gave its answer. It voted 11-8 to adopt an ordinance that requires a parade permit for a public gathering of more than 25 people.
Will this ordinance prevent the sort of spontaneous parades the city faced last year? Maybe. Maybe not. As long as people want to rush into the streets -- hanging out of vehicles, blowing horns and blocking intersections -- they will do it.
But the ordinance does put in place a framework for what groups can do to help ensure the safety of their gathering and establishes some procedures for police.
Whether it works will be up to the police, who need to accommodate free expression, as well as community groups, who should show respect for the rights of neighbors.
• Continue to screw up reporting the facts surrounding the ordinance,
• Fail to inform the public on the misinformation that flowed from the Mayor's own mouth,
• Failed to give the details on the ordinance, which shows that the ordinance goes WAY beyond the scope of it's original intent, does not address the VERY ISSUE that brought it to light, and will effect every citizen of Danbury.
• Failed to quote corporation council that stated on several occasions that the ordinance will have ZERO impact on spontaneous parades,
• FAILED TO PROPERLY INFORM THE PUBLIC!
I find it amazing that a person with a camera and videocamera and time on his hands can do more in-depth reporting on this very subject than the local mainstream media.
Well, here's what I'm going to do.
1. I responded to this stupid editorial.
Will this ordinance prevent the sort of spontaneous parades the city faced last year? Maybe. Maybe not.
Hmm, maybe if the reporters for the News-Times were actually at the meeting(s) in May (instead of running after a knee-jerking immigration story down in NEW HAVEN), you could have heard corporation council (you know, the person who drafted the ordinance) clearly state (on numerous occasions) that the ordinance can not be used to regulate spontaneous parades.
Hell, if you simply READ THE ORDINANCE BEFORE WRITING THIS SHAMELESS EDITORIAL, you get all the answers you need.
Here, let me help you...
From the ordinance:
Sec 11-15 (a):
Parade means any march, demonstration, procession, or motorcade, which the parade permit applicant believes will consist of more than twenty-five (25) persons, animals, or vehicles or a combination thereof upon the streets, sidewalks, parks or other public property owned by or under the control of the City of Danbury, for a common purpose as a result of prior planning that interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic upon said streets, sidewalks, parks, or other public property.
Under case law, spontaneous parades are SPONTANEOUS or in other words something that has no prior planning. By law, simply because a person is at a bar and decides to go out int he streets and celebrate after their team won DOES NOT MEAN IT IS PRIOR PLANNING based upon the law. If a cop attempts to use this ordinance on a person in that situation (of man, please let that be me) the city will be sued for violating a person's first amendment rights and lose in court (badly). Again, (as corporation council correctly stated), the ordinance does not apply to the events that happened during the World Cup games.
Your ill-informed editorial does not take into account that the ordinance goes WAY beyond the scope of it's original intent and includes public assemblies.
Here, let me help you again...from the ordinance:
Sec 11-15 (d):
Public assembly means any meeting, demonstration, picket line, rally or gathering, which the parade permit applicant believes will consist of more than twenty-five (25) persons, held on the streets, sidewalks, parks, or other public property owned by or under the control of the City of Danbury, for a common purpose as a result of prior planning that interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic upon said streets, sidewalks, parks, or other public property.
This means a group of 25 or more people AT A PARK can be in violation of the ordinance. A procession of 25 or more people can be in violation of the ordinance.
This paper does a disservice when it does not properly report on what's happening at City Hall opting instead to chase knee-jerking stories just to sell a paper. It was a disgrace for the local newspaper to be in New Haven covering a immigration rally during the Common Council meeting in May when all the information regarding the ordinance was discussed in great detail. This paper has been playing catch-up on this issue and it still has failed in understanding the true impact of this ordinance.
I mean for crying out loud, your OWN ONLINE EDITOR interview Boughton and caught him in a lying about the ordinance when he claimed that since HE and the POLICE CHIEF had prior planning about the World Cup games, that the events that happened during the World Cup games was not spontaneous. He also stated that since people knew that they were going to celebrate in the streets, that the celebrations were not spontaneous. Both points are COMPLETELY UNTRUE and for a three-term mayor and former State Rep to say that was disgraceful. You have the video on your site so watch it for yourself.
In closing, PLEASE, please, please, don't write an editorial on something that you obviously have no knowledge of whatsoever. It's bad enough that this paper does not report on local political news, but when you write ill-informed editorials, you keep the low-information voters uninformed and assist the elected officials who willfully spread misinformation because they know that they can get away with it because the LOCAL MEDIA DOES NOT DO THEIR JOB IN PROPERLY REPORTING ON LOCAL NEWS.
2. FIRST THING MONDAY MORNING, I'm going to call the News-Times, find out the individual who wrote this editorial, and see if he or she will allow an interview by yours truly.
3. I'm going to find out how much to costs to take out an ad in the News-Times, create an ad blasting the editorial and the complete lack of coverage from the News-Times in regards to this issue, and ask people from across Danbury, Connecticut, and around the country to contribute money to this site so I can get the ad posted.
4. Contact people I know at the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Washington Post, top national and state blogs, and pitch them the story on the ordinance, misinformation from Mayor Boughton and his use of "immigration" for political purposes, and the anger among many in the community whose voices are being ignored.
Trust me, this story is long from over and several elected officials have a great deal of explaining to do to the residents of Danbury. If you followed my reporting on the Lamont/Lieberman race last year for ConnecticutBLOG and My Left Nutmeg, you know that I'm not playing around.
Enough is enough. The citizens of Danbury have been lied to for the last time and I'm about to show the people of this city and state the full capabilities of People-powered Media.
UPDATE: Councilwoman Lynn Taborsak placed a comment that deserves to be added to the post.
The horrible thing about the editorial today is that it's dead wrong! The Council did not vote to approve the parade ordinance by a vote of 11-8. The Council voted not to reconsider the actions[4 motions] on the parade ordinance that were taken at the May meeting. What were those actions? 1) An amendment proposed by Tom Saadi that raised the public assembly threshold to 100. It passed on a 10 to 9 vote, until the Mayor was told by Corporation Counsel that he could vote to make a tie and thereby defeat the amendment. 2) A motion by Mary Saracino to recommit the ordinance and fix it. That motion passed too, by a vote of 10 to 9 until the Mayor cast a second illegal vote to make a tie. 3) was a motion to call the question after Cavo's unprofessional outburst on how those opposing the ordinance were just OBSTRUCTIONISTS. That motion passed and ended debate on the ordinance without the Mayor having to violate the charter 3 times in the same meeting.4) The motion to approve the ordinance then passed by a vote of 10 to 9. Where does this Mary Connolly get this new number of 11 to 8? The 11 to 8 vote WAS A VOTE TO RECONSIDER THE ABOVE 4 MOTIONS. IT FAILED. 11 COUNCIL MEMBERS SAID NO. Those Council members don't think the Mayor really did anything wrong! He didn't intend to violate the charter. He got bad advice from his legal counsel. So what if a majority of the Council members felt differently. It's sad that the democratic process can be circumvented like this. However, it is even sadder that the News Times becomes a party to an abuse of power.BINGO!
Lynn Taborsak: Well informed resident. News-Times: Ill-informed newspaper that places a higher priority on knee-jerking stories over properly informing the public about critical local issues that will have an impact on Danbury and debunking the level of misinformaiton that flows out of the mayor's office.
UPDATE 2: Since the top-notch reporters at the News-Times were too busy chasing a immigration fluff story in New Haven on the night of the parade ordinance debate back in May, here's video footage of the ENTIRE DEBATE.
Part 1: Parade ordinance debate (1 of 2):
Part 2: Parade ordinance debate (2 of 2):
NOTE: Due to a bad videotape, portions of the meeting is slightly distorted. Also, I had to change tapes after Mayor Boughton incorrectly casted his first vote which block the Democratic amendment (I lost about aprox. 3 minutes of footage).