The [Thursday] Papers
"Ahead of this spring's NATO and G8 summits, four influential aldermen on Wednesday proposed prohibiting audience members from waving signs or engaging in any 'demonstration of approval or disapproval' during City Council meetings," the Chicago News Cooperative reports.
Disapproval by the aldermen themselves has already been prohibited for many years.
"Under the proposal, the banned conduct in the council chambers would include - but would not be limited to - 'cheering, yelling, clapping, foot stomping, whistling, booing or jeering.' The public gallery 'may be cleared' if any such behavior occurs, according to the resolution introduced quietly at Wednesday's council meeting.
"The rules also would ban audience members from carrying 'signs, placards, banners or posters' in the council chambers without prior approval from the mayor or the aldermen who preside over council committee meetings."
The mayor would have to approve your signs.
"The sponsors of the measure were Edward Burke (14th Ward), Ray Suarez (31st), Carrie Austin (34th) and Richard Mell (33rd)."
Each will be sent to remedial civics class before being allowed to rejoin the council.
"'There is plenty of room outside the chambers' for the public to express its opinions, said Mell."
There's no room for public opinion inside the chambers, however.
ALTERNATE: Plenty of room excepting Grant Park and LaSalle and Dearborn.
"Mell said he believed the behavior targeted by the new resolution is not allowed during legislative sessions in Washington, Springfield or most other state capitols."
It turns out he was thinking of Tehran, Beijing and Pyongyang.
"Burke and Austin did not return calls seeking comment, and Suarez declined comment. Aides to Mayor Rahm Emanuel also did not immediately return calls seeking comment."
There's no room for comment.
Unless you're Ald. George Cardenas (12th), who "said the new rules might be needed if protesters attempt to disrupt council meetings when Chicago hosts the NATO and G8 summits in May.
"We've got a lot of problems in our city and the last thing we need is chaos," Cardenas said. "It could be the intention of some of the folks to shut down government, shut down debate and shut down the city's business, and we can't allow that to happen."
It could be the intention of some folks to shut down debate. We can't allow that to happen. And by God if we have to shut down debate to preserve it, we'll do it!
Perhaps Hillard hadn't heard of the latest Sit Down And Shut Up proposal being introduced in the City Council, because if you want to inflame protesters and set the stage for a disaster, the aldermen and the administration are doing everything right.
Eyes In The Sky
"Vislink will design the fully integrated airborne downlink system, supplying its high power HD/SD Kamelyon HDX-1100 digital aircraft transmitter and cockpit-mounted control panel units to provide a broad range of surveillance and first response capabilities.
"The airborne units will transmit to four strategically located ground-based receiver sites providing city-wide coverage and the ability to simultaneously receive real-time images from two aircraft for viewing at the OEMC operations center."
Plenty of Room
"Defense attorney Tom Durkin said, 'All you can do in Chicago is protest for 17 hours and this is the way we want to show off we're a world class city? It takes us back to looking like idiots.'
"City attorneys have argued the arrests weren't a ban on speech and were not criminal in nature.
"Defense attorney Robert Stainthorpe criticized the city for, 'Making the protestors be arrested, taken to jail, fingerprinted, mug shots, conditions of bail set, go to criminal court; now the city's turned around and said, Oh, it's not really criminal, it's just civil. That's really outrageous.'"
Shhhh! What do you want to do, shut down debate?
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The Beachwood Tip Line: A quiet room.
Posted on February 16, 2012
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