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Pushback: City in Georgia forced to rescind a law that required permits for any protest

“Terrorist” Jerry Gray holding his terrible sign

Bring a gun to a knife fight: After veteran Jeff Gray was issued a citation and fined for standing in front of the city hall of Blackshear, Georgia, with a sign that said “God Bless the Homeless Vets,” he sued, hiring the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) to represent him.

In Blackshear, Police Chief Chris Wright approached Gray and informed him of a city ordinance requiring citizens to obtain a government permit for a “parade, procession, or demonstration” if they wanted to hold a sign outside city hall. Although Wright said it was “kind of silly,” he explained that the ordinance — nearly identical to one struck down by the Supreme Court in 1969 — meant that Gray would need to send a letter to Blackshear’s mayor and city council explaining the purpose of his one-person demonstration and obtain the council’s approval. Gray was issued a criminal citation, which was later dismissed.

The Blackshear law was likely written during the Jim Crow era of Democratic Party control of the south, and created as a tool to keep civil rights protesters at bay. You can read the FIRE lawsuit here.

Gray was also detained for holding his sign in the Georgia town of Alpharetta by two police officers, in a much more egregious manner, including an illegal attempt by one government official, Arick Furr, to permanently ban Gray from government property. The ugly details can be read in his complaint here.

This language from the FIRE press release summarizes both suits:

On Jan. 31, FIRE filed two lawsuits on Gray’s behalf to protect Americans’ right to speak outside government buildings: the first against the City of Alpharetta, Georgia, and two of its police officers, and the second against Blackshear’s police chief. FIRE brought the Blackshear lawsuit in collaboration with the University of Georgia Law School’s First Amendment Clinic, which provides law students with real-world practice experience directly representing clients on First Amendment claims and serves as an educational resource on issues of free expression and press rights.

Blackshear has now settled, revoking its law and also paying a symbolic $1791 (the year the Bill of Rights were ratified) to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

The suit against Alpharetta and two of its officials however continues. Expect that city to settle soon as well. If it doesn’t, both it and its government officials face certain defeat in court, especially because FIRE is demanding a jury trial and has video to prove its case.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Cotour

    I am engaged in an ongoing conversation with a “progressive” (D) and I enrage her. I don’t mean to, don’t try to, but I do.


    First, to have a real conversation about what is ongoing in politics specifically in America today you cannot come to the conversation with just a wish list of what you want because you detect inequities and corruption without understanding the implications of your wishes and “good intentions” into the future.

    And because I boil down everything to this one simple point: “Progressive” thought and action always results in authoritarianism. Always.

    Hitler was “progressive”, Pol Pot was “progressive”, Stalin was “progressive”, Mao was “progressive, subjectively “progressive” of course that is.

    And so, if you come to the conclusion that you see America as being corrupt, and unjust then the Constitution must be a bad deal and it must also be corrupt and so it all must be thrown out the window and replaced with this replacement based in the “progressives” subjectivity. What could go wrong? SEE: HISTORY.

    This man and his little sign that points out the irrationality where the current government both is flooding the borders with illegals and essentially paying for their stay with free medical, housing, education etc, etc.

    And we are sending billions to Ukraine, and I can make an augment for that especially understanding our current presidents “special” relationship with the Ukraine recently being revealed, but there are former military service members living on the streets and have no healthcare. Is it rational and reasonable that this man holds up his little sign?

    Like I said, “progressive” thought process and action no matter how righteous and well-meaning it might be seen as being can only result in authoritarianism.

    Not freedom of choice, not self-determination, not free speech, it and government as its vehicle in time can result only in one thing.

    And that is exactly the antithesis of what the actually Progressive Constitution intends.

    And that is why they, the “progressives”, endeavor to throw it all out the window, it stands squarely in their way to what most of the idealistic among them believe is progress.

    Righteous ignorance is bliss, and it is very dangerous.

  • Col Beausabre

    As of tonight a Federal Appeals Court has ruled that Biden has the right to censor the internet,

    I served a quarter century in the US Army to “Protect, Uphold and Defend te Constitution” (the Oath of Office that all members of the US military swear) and I must conclude I and my brothers and sisters in arms wasted our time.

  • Cotour

    Back up: And I did not point out, my “progressive” friend is Gen X and is gay.

    NYPost: “That ignorance actually gets worse. Among those students who somehow believe the United States has gotten worse over the last 50 years, a majority think this imagined lack of progress has occurred because we don’t have “enough government programs to make sure resources are used wisely.

    This belief betrays a remarkable unfamiliarity with our economic system.

    Even back in 1970, we were dedicating so much to government programs that it amounted to 32.3% of our economy, per the International Monetary Fund. By 2021, that figure had risen to 42.36%.”

    “It’s not just race where we’ve seen tremendous progress either. Heck, as Forbes reports, many women couldn’t even get credit cards in their own name in 1973.

    And gay people faced anti-sodomy laws on the books in many states that literally criminalized their lifestyle — gay marriage was still a pipe dream. That’s all radically changed. Are woke college students really unaware of this basic history?”

    What has gone on in America over the last 50 years has been a continuing radical Left push to ultimately result in the destruction of America and its Constitution. And that becomes the tribal political party game that is played. And I think we must recognize that the other component of the equation, the Republican party to some degree has been usurped and compromised by more serious and dedicated players. And they are radical Left and Marxist in nature, whether they want to honestly recognize that fact or not. You have to recognize that.

    One side plays generally within the lines, except when they don’t. And the other side has decided based in their own self-interests that it all must be torn down and restructured in only their model. Ignore the rules, make your own rules, break it and reformulate it.

    And what is the point of this ramble? That effort by the now openly radical “progressive” Left can ONLY result in subjective authoritarian government where mandates and absolute control will be enforced by people who have no real grasp of history and just how far and just how good, successful and unique the American experiment in governance in fact is and has been.

    What are the real rules of the all the marbles game that is being played?

    The first thing that the Constitution structures is political warfare, it is time for the general public of all generations to realize that and fight in an appropriate manner.

    And that in the end is what keeps America healthy, the struggle and the political warfare is the key. No pain, no gain. JGL 7/28/23

  • James Street

    Homeless American veterans are living on the streets while the government at all levels spends hundred$ of billion$ of taxpayers’ money on immigrants (legal and illegal) for housing, EBT cards, health care, education, Obama phones, condoms, drugs…

  • Cotour

    It is in governments own self-interests in pursuit of its power and control to operate in such a manner.

    Now we are getting it.

    Being an American can almost be considered in these politically contentious times to be a liability.

  • Tom

    You should see how the police ran roughshod over Jeff Grey’s rights in Ocean Springs, MS and Waveland, MS. The response from Mr. Grey’s followers was loud and long. It took weeks before the town’s phone systems to get back to a semblance of “normal”. And the offending policemen are still reporting for duty. Not one town officer, from the mayors to the dog catchers, was picking up their extension.

  • Tom: I wish I had known about these other examples. All almost certainly come historically from the Jim Crow era of the South, when Democrats had total control and imposed their dictatorship to prevent the civil rights movement from gaining steam.

  • wayne

    going to drop this in here cuz’ it’s as good a place as any and inquiring minds want the source documents:

    The Biden Plea Deal Transcript
    Uncivil Law (7/28/23)

  • Max

    How does Joe Biden encourage racism and a return to the glory days of Jim Crowe laws? Erect monuments to a murdered 14-year-old boy to reminding everyone that in a democratic controlled South, his friends, Ku Klux Klan can pack a jury for acquittal, justice will not be served unless you pay to play.
    For example, the bitcoin dude that lost $110 billion has charges dropped because he made donations to the right Democrat leaders. (Yes this means they don’t have to pay back the money to the investors)

    Corporations Owned by Black rock and Vanguard are buying up land in Ukraine at basement bottom prices!
    Blackrock is borrowing money to Ukraine so Ukraine, which no longer has income, is taking billions sent by Biden to repay Blackrock who makes large campaign donations back to Biden‘s friends so politicians will continue funding Ukraine…
    Didn’t somebody say that democracies will always fail because the majority will vote themselves money from the treasury?

    “Western financial monopolies, which have already become absurdly powerful, are in fact using Ukrainian soldiers to defend their new properties. The ordinary Ukrainian probably still believes he is defending his own country against a supposedly irrational aggressor from the north-east, but their country actually already belongs to corporations“
    I suppose that’s what it means to have a public private partnership… The force of government looking out for the profitability of the private partnership Monopoly which runs the former.
    At the bottom of this article, you get a list of Black rock executives now in key positions of US government and CIA. Etc.

    Meanwhile, china is investing millions for their piece of the US government.
    James o’Keefe, who was kicked out of his own company project veritas, is now back.
    Act blue, who donates only to Democrats and rhino Republicans, is for China to funnel money and buy votes.

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