Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Riverside County Ordinance Farce Continues

Riverside County ordinance curtailing Scientology protests suspended | L.A. Now | Los Angeles Times: "Supervisor Roy Wilson moved to have the ordinance suspended for a month while county counsel and the Sheriff's Department determined exactly where protesters could assemble and what form their protests could take."

Back in Jan. 6 I wrote how this ordinance looked ridiculous, unenforceable without clear rules. This is exactly what happened.

The information I quoted yesterday from unreliable source IndyBay, that "the revision preserved Anonymous' right to protest in its usual position across from the main gate" appears indeed not that simple, and conflicting information about that bit now arise.

It now appears that Church lawyer Sam Alhadeff said last week that under the ordinance, protesters could stand next to the compound gates — not 50 feet away — as long as the demonstration doesn't take place adjacent to a church-owned residence.

Well, that's a hell of an ambiguous statement, not resolving anything.

In my opinion, the person to blame in this story is County Counsel Pamela Walls. She should not have let such an ambiguity go unchallenged, and should have pinpointed in advance where exactly the protesters could picked and see to it that the sheriff's office gets properly briefed.

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