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Fwd: Do you support the right to peaceful protest?

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  • Gretchen Begley
    ... - Date: 25 Jun 2002 23:47:02 -0000 From: Christopher Calhoun Reply-To: alert-response-inxuk21d3m@ga1.org Subject: Do you support
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
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      ----- Forwarded message from Christopher Calhoun <publicpolicy@...> ----
      Date: 25 Jun 2002 23:47:02 -0000
      From: Christopher Calhoun <publicpolicy@...>
      Reply-To: alert-response-inxuk21d3m@...
      Subject: Do you support the right to peaceful protest?
      To: Gretchen Begley <gbegley@...>

      Hi, Gretchen,

      Cesar Chavez' marches. Pride marches. Martin Luther
      King, Jr.'s nonviolent civil rights movement, the suffragists
      who fought for women's right to vote. All of them used
      a powerful tool for change: direct action through public

      But that right has always been threatened and chilled
      by stiff penalties and sentences -- even when protesters
      engage in no violent or destructive behavior. Now a
      movement is building across America to change our laws
      so that nonviolent protesters' fines and prison sentences
      will be greatly reduced. California is considering
      such a law now, limiting jail time to two days and
      fines to $100. Support this basic democratic right
      by telling your legislators to pass SB 1680.

      You can take action on this alert either via email
      (please see directions below) or via the web at:

      Spread the word. Use the power of your address book.
      Don't limit your action to yourself. Visit the web
      address below and tell your friends to take action
      on this important campaign!

      We encourage you to take action by October 14, 2002

      Support the Right to Nonviolent Protest


      Protest. Marches. Democratic action.

      When people care enough to demonstrate in the streets,
      it's because they believe in our country's ideals of
      democracy and freedom. But too often, those in authority
      see political protest, whether it's about the environment,
      about the effects of globalization in the world economy,
      about police abuses, about LGBT freedom, about women's
      rights, or about flaws in our criminal justice system
      such as racial profiling, as a threat to be shut down,
      or a crime to be punished harshly.

      In fact, harsh penalties are frequently applied to
      peaceful protesters who haven't harmed a person or
      anybody's property, and who haven't blocked a medical
      facility or a private home. For such protesters, 6
      months in jail and fines of up to $1000 are inappropriate,
      and SB 1680 changes that by reducing prison time to
      two days and fines to $100.

      Help strengthen our right to peaceful protest by supporting
      SB 1680.


      If you have access to a web browser, you can take action
      on this alert by going to the following URL:


      Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email

      Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
      Governor Gray Davis
      Assembly Member Hannah-Beth Jackson


      I urge you to support SB 1680, a bill by Senator Polanco
      that reduces the stiff penalties and jail sentences
      that can currently be handed out for nonviolent, nondestructive,
      public protest. SB 1680 recognizes clearly that violent
      protest or protest that damages property, blocks access
      to medical facilities, or blocks entrances to private
      homes is a greater offense, and it does not change
      the current penalties for these activities. But individuals
      who engage in none of these activities have the right
      to engage nonviolently in public protest, and our current
      laws impinge on that right.

      Our nation has evolved toward greater equality and
      liberty through the commitment and engagement of people
      who care enough to make their views known publicly
      through demonstrations and protest. The civil rights
      movement, the farm workers' rights movement, the women's
      movement, and the LGBT struggle for equality have all
      used the tools of public protest to make our country
      and our state a better place for all. The U.S. Constitution
      guarantees us the right to free expression and free
      assembly, but laws such as California's current laws
      that harshly penalize nonviolent protest interfere
      with those rights. It's time to stop throwing Californians
      in jail for six months simply because they believe
      in a cause strongly enough to take to the streets.

      From the the time of the Revolutionary War to the present,
      encompassing every major civil rights movement in the
      last century, Americans have a history of having the
      courage of our convictions -- and demonstrating that
      courage in public through nonviolent demonstrations.
      California should stop standing in the way of nonviolent
      public protest.

      ----END OF LETTER TO BE SENT----

      Sincerely yours,

      Gretchen Begley
      777 Embarcadero del Mar #2
      Isla Vista, CA 93117

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