Viewpoint: Protect free speech in WoodburyI am aware of the saying that no man’s wallet is safe while the Legislature is in session. More frightening is the realization that no man’s freedoms are safe either
By: James Grinols, Viewpoint Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
I am aware of the saying that no man’s wallet is safe while the Legislature is in session. More frightening is the realization that no man’s freedoms are safe either.
What my father and earlier generations fought and died for can be taken away by the stroke of a pen by five minor politicians.
The Woodbury City Council, in an attempt to make our quiet suburb somnolent, has planned the removal of the right to give speeches in neighborhood settings.
Personally, I take issue with attempts to remove my ability to do as Abraham Lincoln did in his lifetime or Jesus of Nazareth in His.
In the last ten years there have been approximately ten protests in which private citizens were targeted for peaceful protest. The protests did not annoy anyone so as to lead to arrests this last summer but they did appear to annoy the police department in Woodbury from which this new ordinance proposal has arisen.
In discussion I always hear we do not wish to see individual citizens targeted. On the contrary, I believe individual citizens and government officials need to be able to be targeted for protest. E-mail is too tame a thing for some issues.
City council members have no office in City Hall at which to protest and, under the proposed new regulations, they would not be approachable in the community either.
I suppose one could attempt to protest from ones’ cars while they are driving to work. But, in addition to safety concerns, one might run afoul of anti-stalking regulations.
At the current rate of protest I will need to wait a calculated 10,000 years before I see a protest from the front steps of my home.
Anyone who would like to protest this letter may come and quietly and legally protest in front of my home while the opportunity remains. With Minnesota weather, I am unconcerned that people will be in front of the neighbors for too long.
Past Americans have said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Some today seem willing to make this grand trade for an unobstructed view of the golf course.
It is a time to call the city — (651) 714 3500 — and let them know you side with those Americans whose motto was to live free or die. It means more than just a saying on a New England license plate.
Grinols is a Woodbury resident.