Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Will History Forget What Happened in Rockford?

Like most of what we publish, the real point of this post is to ask, "Where were the media?"

The story of what happened to David Hale is a barely discernable ripple in the tide of events that will soon join together to become a raging river on April 15 of this year.

Nonetheless, his story is very important.

David Hale is organizing a TEA Party in Rockford Illinois. That stands for Taxed Enough Already. There hasn't been any violence associated with the Tea Party Movement that sprang up since mid February 2009. It's just a (huge) group of mainly middle class people who are concerned about the future of their country . . . working people . . . small business people . . . people who obey the law.

The trouble started when David and a group of citizens assembled for a planning meeting at the East branch of the Rockford Public Library.

Now East branch Library, like most modern libraries, has a web page, but the page doesn't really say much about meetings.

What the Rockford East Branch web page says:
Located in the former Barnes & Noble building on State St., the new East Branch offers a coffee shop, meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi, quiet study rooms, special areas for children, young adults and adults, and an expanded collection of books and media.

The Rockford Library Policy Manual can be found at the following internet location .

There's really nothing in the Rockford Library Policy Manual that addresses the question of whether a group of individuals can meet at the library for the purpose of planning an event.

But David Hale and the other Tea Party Organizers were asked to leave the library. In fact, the police were called, and to avoid a confrontation and bad publicity, David and his group left voluntarily.

The Real Question

We think that the real question is this -- where is the news media in all of this?

Tea Party organizers from coast to coast, according to their internet posts, are dealing with questionable government policies and decisions that affect first amendment right of students to peaceably assemble.

In California, Tea Party Organizers were told they could not distribute petitions at their event. But doesn't the first amendment guarantee "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances"?

Should U.S. media document incursions of the First Amendment by local governments?

Did Dr. King deal with similar problems when attempting to organize demonstrations in the early nineteen sixties? Was this documented by the media?

Where is the historical context? Where is Katie Couric to investigate and to compare the treatment of David Hale's group to the treatment of anti-war and gay rights protestors?

Questions for the Rockford Public Library

  • Is there a rule against people pushing a couple of tables together in the Rockford Library, if they are working on a group project? Where is that rule published? Has that rule ever been enforced before?
  • Does the Rockford Library distinguish between a group of people meeting together to plan an event and a group of people meeting together to work on a school project, in terms of library usage policies?
  • Under what circumstances does the Rockford Library call the police?
  • Under what circumstances does the Rockford Library ask a group of individuals to leave the library?
  • Were the police called by an employee of the Rockford Library on the night that David Hale and other Tea Party event planners came to East Branch?

What are the real rules?

How do you separate the rhetoric about the second amendment from the actual accepted interpretation?

A good place to start is the First Amendment Center Web page (

The first Amendment Center has the following to say about freedom to assemble :
As a general rule, the government cannot ban speech — including public protests — because of the protest’s “content,” or subject matter. Government can restrict the time, place and manner of the speech in order to meet a higher need, such as public safety. What a demonstrator might say without challenge at noon in the public square likely would have First Amendment protection, while that same speech at midnight under an apartment building window likely would not.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm. We're wondering if ANY of this is on the radar screen of national media.

1 comment:

  1. Something your analysis is missing:

    MLK was trained and aided by communists. Modern newspaper/tv/radio newswhores are mostly communists. Yes they call themselves nice PC names like "Liberal" and 'progressive' so as not to alarm the sheeple but they're still commies.

    So of course they're going to propagate/disseminate commie propaganda and avoid any groups/events/info that makes their movement look bad or causes the sheeple to question their tax schemes.