Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Riverside Ordinance Prevents Picketing

In spite of massive objections from Scientology critics, including a full blown letter from Graham Berry, Riverside County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance that restricts picketing outside homes and a Church of Scientology base near Hemet.

The funny thing in this is that it is worded in such a way as to effectively prevent picketing at all.

Indeed, the protesters are supposed to remain at least 50 feet from the property line of any residence they are targeting in unincorporated Riverside County. This would in concrete term exclude them from the whole compound.

The ordinance makes an exception to permit protesters on a sidewalk across the street from the property.

In the case of Gold, the street in question may in fact be a large and busy highway, mostly made of intraversible terrain, making any protest totally ineffective, not to say dangerous.

But that's not all!

The church's base in Gilman Hot Springs abuts both sides of Gilman Springs Road!

So this leaves the protesters no place to go!

Wait! It even gets funnier.

County Counsel Pamela Walls assured protesters would have many options, but when asked to indicate them on a map, she said that she was not familiar with the specific property!

I think this is hilarious!

There is hope for critics, however. Indeed, Walls said "We are going to make sure they have the ability to protest and do so visibly".

So, this is what I would do if I was one of these Anonymous clowns. I would go in full picket gear to Walls' office, or whoever is in charge, and ask where I could protest and do so visibly. If she can't tell, then I would picket the Chief Supervisor office instead. Providing he does not live there, of course!

County ordinance raises questions about Scientology

Update Jan 8: What the article above does not say, is that a public hearing must be held before the measure can be formally added to the books. The hearing would be placed on the board's calendar in the next two or three weeks. Guess we will be hearing of that story more then...

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