This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to FoxNews Radio; October 27, 2011
Tea Party groups across the nation are accusing local and state governments of a double standard – charging them fees to hold rallies in public parks, while allowing Occupy protesters to set up camp for free.
“I find it extremely frustrating and upsetting,” said Colleen Owens, a spokesperson for the Richmond Tea Party. “It is definitely a slap in the face.”
Owens is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city of Richmond, claiming her group was charged for rallies at Kanawha Plaza but the Occupy protesters have not been charged.
“If they are not going to apply the law equally, then they should refund our money,” she said. “They’ve been camped out there for almost two weeks and they have not paid one dime. They are not being held accountable to follow the law, yet we were expected to follow the law.”
Similar accusations have been made by other tea party organizations across the nation – including Atlanta, Winston-Salem, NC, and Nashville.
Judson Phillips, of the Tea Party Nation, told Fox News that he’s been getting e-mail from conservatives across the country wondering why they were charged by the government to hold rallies.
“Tea Party groups were given a bit of harassment as they tried to secure permits to hold rallies and yet when these Occupy groups come in – even though they don’t have permits, they’re allowed to do whatever they want,” he said.
Phillips said his group failed to comply with one regulation and were told they could not hold a rally at Legislative Plaza in Nashville.
“I was specifically told by one bureaucrat that if we showed up, they would have the Highway Patrol arrest us,” he said. “We could not do our event there, but Occupy Nashville has been camping out on Legislative Plaza for three weeks.”
And according to a spokesperson for the Tennessee Dept. of General Services, Occupy Nashville has been allowed to camp without securing a permit.
Wendy Caswell, with the Louisville Tea Party told WHAS that Occupy Louisville protesters were allowed to get a permit to camp in Jefferson Park until Dec. 31st.
According to a spokesperson for the mayor, the Occupy group had to pay a $25 fee.
However, the tea party group had to pay $75 for a one day permit to use the same park. They were also required to purchase insurance, hire security and medical personnel.
“Why isn’t the same standard (applied) to the Occupy Louisville movement,” Caswell asked radio host Mandy Connell.
City Government vs. The Constitution
An excerpt from the US Constitition, Amenndment 14, paragraph 1
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
We the People:
Are government employees bolstering demonstrators who support government employees? Are higher fees to other groups an attempt to abridge their privileges? Our system is being tested. This is not a time to lower our expectations or the accountability of those entrusted to apply our laws equally.