A March for Science, Road Closures and the ACLU

On Saturday the city will shut down several public streets for an event called the “March for Science.” It’s the local version of a nationwide protest of federal budget cuts to scientific research. While the event organizers claim that it is non-partisan, critics say its the nerdy version of yet another anti-Trump protest.

Mad scientists

Naturally the city bureaucrats were eager to accommodate to the public’s expression via a gathering on the city hall lawn and a march through downtown streets, right? Of course not. The City of Fullerton declined the assembly. Organizers were told to come up with $12,000 for city fees, a $2 million insurance policy and provide 90 days notice before starting the march.

What were these fees supposed to pay for? $8,000 went towards some sort of a traffic control plan and $4,000 was earmarked for police fees. Specifics costs were unavailable, but we can read between the lines: it’s $12,000 to put up plastic barricades and have some cops stand around, collecting overtime.

The ACLU got involved and lit up the city for charging excess fees they claim were intended to “discourage community members from exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Predictably, the ACLU communique prompted a change of heart at city hall. City management found a way to drastically reduce fees to a mere $175. The march will proceed as planned, without most of the ridiculously expensive bureaucratic requirements.

The moral of this story, of course, is that city hall’s default reaction to 1st amendment activity is to put up artificial financial/administrative barricades and prevent the unwashed masses from organizing and criticizing government. Around here, if you can’t bring in a lawyer to assert your rights, you’re nobody. That sounds familiar.

On the other hand, I am reminded of a peaceful Fullerton march that occurred in 2011 without lawyers, city approval, plastic barricades, insurance policies, traffic control, fat cops on overtime or any sort of certificate of authenticity. How did that happen?

 

CSUF Downtown Fullerton Education Uber Alles Transparency

17 thoughts on “A March for Science, Road Closures and the ACLU

  1. Of course the city is going to try to deny the taxpayer out of hand. The city has all the lawyers, the lawyers get paid by the taxpayers and the lawyers tell the city what to do!

      1. I’m with you on the road closure but am mystified by the communist reference. Opponents of Trumpiana include 50,000,000 non communists.

    1. Wherever they were, their lack of presence avoided an almost inevitably disastrous escalation – so be thankful!

  2. Why would you pay the city for a protest when you can just do it for free? Who asks for permission to protest? Stupid scientists.

  3. Some guy from this March went to the council meeting last night and kissed a lot of city ass, thanking the city for trying to screw him over. It’s hard to take your protest seriously when you graciously allow the city to emasculate you.

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