Peace Activists Can Protest the New Bush Center, Judge Rules, So Off They Go

Categories: Politics

Thumbnail image for ThePeoplesResponse.jpg
The People's Response also protested the Bush Center groundbreaking ceremony.
Last week we told you about a group of activists who were suing the City of Dallas, claiming they're being illegally barred from participating in a protest during SMU's dedication this week of the new George W. Bush Presidential Center. On Friday, noting a "strong public interest in the freedom of expression, especially as it relates to protest speech," U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis ruled in their favor. Which is handy, because the four-day-long protest-stravaganza, dubbed "The People's Reponse," kicked off at 9:30 this morning.

According to their complaint, Dallas PD told the six protesters they'd be cited if they held signs with 75 feet of the frontage road running along Central Expressway; when they held a preliminary protest and did just that, with signs that said things like, "I Love the First Amendment," they were all written citations. Some were actually cited for the no-sign-carrying ordinance, while others were given tickets for "solicitation" (i.e., panhandling, although they hadn't been).

In his ruling, Solis wrote that the city needs to demonstrate that it has "some meaningful interest in more stringent regulation of traffic at or near the sidewalk of Expressway Tower." In that, he decided, they've failed (although he did grant their motion to keep the suit in federal court, rather than kicking it back down to the state level).

Dallas, Solis wrote, "has failed to demonstrate any need to regulate signs and other displays at or near the proposed protest venue as strictly as outlined in the Ordinance." Because the city couldn't demonstrate "even a minimal need to regulate First Amendment activity," Solis found that the protesters have a "substantial likelihood of success" in their suit.

Solis also issued a preliminary ruling that the entire sign-carrying-near-freeways ordinance is "unconstitionally vague and therefore void." He noted that Chief Shedd of the DPD, who's supposed to enforce the ordinance, demonstrated "noticeable discomfort and confusion" when asked to weigh in on hypothetical situations dealing with signs along Central.

And so, DPD officers are temporarily enjoined for the next four days from issuing citations under that sign-carrying ordinance "to any and all protestors bearing signs
on the sidewalks within the area donated by SMU, including Expressway Tower."

Hadi Jawad, one of the organizers of the People's Response, told the Dallas Morning News that as an activist, he's gotten used to losing a lot of battles. "But this is a good day for Dallas and the citizens of Dallas and the Constitution," he added. "It's a fantastic feeling."



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146 comments
Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

With your logic, Rick, we should have just let Bin Laden off the hook because it had been so long since his crime.

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

I was comparing one non-current issue with another non-current issue.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

I don't think she was, I think she was just giving you an example. But if we are going to compare, lets compare. Both are terrorists, one was captured and killed (the other one hasn't), and if you do a comparison of both and how many people they killed you are more than welcome to share that with us.....

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

Shouldn't Melissa be doing HER job right now? Or is SHE unemployed?

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

Ha! Yes boss.... what else on your agenda that we can attend to? We despise "Governor Good Hair" as much as the next person. So how about this, you organize something and we will go support you! You know after all, working 50+ hours a week we need someone to take some initiative.....

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

Oh! Do me and the rest of Texas a favor, please. If it's not already on your protest calendar, add some dates for protesting anything and everything Governor Good Hair and Greg Abbott. If you guys are successful at getting those two weasels out of office, I'll get behind your cause.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

Oh and no snarky comment on my profession? I apologize if I am not what you assume I should be, an uneducated unemployed person..... try again.....

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

I am pretty sure that the Veterans that you are offending, you know, the ones that are wearing the masks, will know how to keep hydrated. After all, they did go to war in far worse conditions than a mask.... but I will send them your love.... congratulations you are what is wrong with this world!

Rick Brown
Rick Brown

Are you comparing someone to Bin Laden? Please clarify for us.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

Good luck with that. Be sure to post an update when you're successful. In the meantime, drink lots of water, because it's going to warm up and those masks look hot!

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

You are a business person? OK, so I am a procurement manager, here is the return on our investment: our actions have had local, national and international press in the past month, if we continue to get media coverage, people that feel that he hasn't been held liable for his war crimes will continue to fight until he does. That is our ROI!

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

Yes I can hear the support coming through loud and clear, somehow it just sounds like every other person that can't come up with anything else to use against us. Yes I have a job, yes I shower, yes I vote.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

In all honesty we don't need him to "give a shit" about us. We already know he will not, he doesn't give a shit about the American people in general, we already know that. We don't need him to "give a shit" we need him to be held ACCOUNTABLE!

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

"Likely unemployed"......ahahhahahahahah...... try again.....

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

I believe that you are the one that has the reading comprehension problem. I already answered your questions twice. Are you sure you want to visit a library????.....

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

In other words, its a shrine to idiocy...... there are your facts....

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

Joan - What you keep overlooking is that I DO agree with your cause and accusations (of Bush), but don't understand the purpose of your protests. Maybe it's the business person in me, but there doesn't seem to be any ROI. If you're not going to be there when I am, great! You won't ruin my experience. BTW - Your job is "Occupy Dallas." Tell me what that means because to me, that says you're unemployed. Since you people have all the time in the world to protest libraries or the names on them, what have you done with all your spare time to help the victims of West? Or Boston? Or anyone? Do you work with Wounded Warriors and other groups that provide money and services to wounded vets? I do. I protest as well, but do so in the way I vote, not on a frontage road or at the steps of a business or government building.

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

Re-evaluate based on their scripts.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

"The hypothetical exercise, which includes touch screens that let users watch videos of “advisers” before voting on whether they would make the same choices that Mr. Bush did, revisits the most consequential moments of his administration. In the process, the country is being asked to re-evaluate the two-term president who presided over some of the most tumultuous years in the nation’s history."

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

"The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which will be officially dedicated Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, features an exhibit intended to mimic the hard decisions the former president made during his eight-year tenure. The New York Times reports that "visitors to an interactive theater will be presented with the stark choices that confronted the nation's 43rd president: invade Iraq or leave Saddam Hussein in power? Deploy federal troops after Hurricane Katrina or rely on local forces? Bail out Wall Street or let the banks fail?""

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

It is a Presidential library. Maybe YOU should check and see what that means for all the other Presidential Libraries. You sure seem invested in this issue for someone who is not a "cheerleader" for Bush.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

"Matthew Wilson, an associate professor of political science at SMU, said of the center, "...it will explore and advance policy proposals on issues of interest to President Bush.""

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

Melissa clearly doesn't know how we protest. We certainly don't yell in peoples faces or badger. If you can't tolerate a difference of opinion being expressed in public you may want to stay indoors. Still haven't said how we will ruin your experience, with that in mind.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

So basically there is no outcome. Do you really think that smug alien bastard is going to give a shit what a small group of (likely unemployed) idiots in caricature masks has to say about him being a war criminal??? He's no longer President. He doesn't care and you're not going to change that standing on a frontage road protesting. But hey, if that's what you people do with your time, go for it, but it would be better to do something that actually makes a difference for the people you're protesting for, rather than trying to go after the ones you're in opposition with.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

Wow, Joan. Have you been to the library yet? Do you have some insider information we're not aware of? It's not even open to the public until May 1, so how do you know what's inside? I don't either and you may be right, but it's safe to NOT assume and wait until you have facts, if that's what you're going to use to make your case. You can't make a case on assumptions alone.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

I actually answered your question, but you chose not to read it. Let me say it again..... ACCOUNTABILITY!! and don't worry we are not going to be there when it is open to the public.... again, if you would read instead of making assumptions you would see that we are protesting this week, and if you read your own comments, this is not going to be open to the public this week.....

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

I'm not sure if you people have a reading comprehension problem or you're just avoiding the questions because you don't have (valid) answers. WHAT IS THE EXPECTED OUTCOME OF YOUR PROTESTS? What good do you think it will bring? And why protest the library instead of W's home or a POLITICAL event he's attending/speaking at??? The library dedication and having his name attached was not a political move. I'm sure once Obama leaves office, something will be named after him, too.

Melissa Howell
Melissa Howell

How is it ruining MY experience and the experience of other visitors? I don't support Bush anymore than any of you, but if I want to take my kids to enjoy a nice library or even go over to the Meadows Museum, I don't want to be badgered and bombarded with protesters. My visiting the facility doesn't mean I am a Bush supporter/"cheerleader" and I don't need mouthpieces in ridiculous masks yelling in my face about their cause. None of you have even answered the question: WHAT IS THE EXPECTED OUTCOME OF YOUR PROTESTS AT THE LIBRARY??? WHY NOT PROTEST HIM NEAR HIS HOME???

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

Just how is this protest ruining your experience?

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

One has to wonder why Melissa, Kat, et al suddenly appear out of nowhere. Why do THEY have the time to troll Facebook over this? Couldn't THEY be doing something more valuable with their time?

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

but, but, we are ruining their experience..... o.O

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

How long did it take to get Bin Laden? One time warp later? Maybe he was no longer pertinent?

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

Hope I didn't 'ruin your experience'. Muahahaha!

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

I'm sorry. That was rude. And I already know the answer.

Joan Dixon
Joan Dixon

Although we don't protest libraries, this is NOT a library in the literal sense. It's only full of fluff up his feathers artifacts. You won't find anything in there in opposition to him. LIES, LIES and more LIES. BTW...this is a political event.

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

Melissa, are you a fucking idiot or do you just play one on Facebook?

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

Wow...wouldn't wanna 'ruin the experience' of all of the cheerleaders who backed this war criminal as he was invading countries under false pretenses!

Kyungju Park
Kyungju Park

Perhaps Cody thinks that Charles Manson should be released from prison. After all, he committed those crimes in the past. Why should we look backwards instead of focusing on the present. In fact, using Cody's logic, we should let the Boston Marathon bomber go because his crime already occurred, so what's the sense? Using Cody logic, that's what you get.

Cody Neathery
Cody Neathery

Possibly as I spent last weekend being an activist assisting those in need in West, TX instead of trolling a former president.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

Melissa, again you are assuming so many things.... we have been organizing for this event several months. We know when the dedication is, and who is attending, we know when it is open to the public. Assuming that protesters don't have a job is like assuming that the people that are attending the dedication don't either. We didn't assume that Kat did in both of her statements.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

1. Ruining your experience? This man has ruined thousands of people's life's (and by ruined I mean he has murdered). But carry on with your awesome experience..... 2. We have protested outside his house, try to catch up once in a while. 3. Chances are that this is going to be his last "hoorah" so no chance of waiting for a "political" event. Protesting demeans our cause? Really? Maybe we should just stay home and do nothing.... that sounds like promising change.... and since you are so curious, we expect ACCOUNTABILITY!

bstewart1987
bstewart1987

GOOOOOOOOOO RANGGGEEEERRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Rick Brown
Rick Brown

Focus on the current terrorist then if that is your logic.

Steve
Steve

Fuck parsley.

Indira Pea
Indira Pea

The problem with "moving on" is that old lies are thought to be true even years later. If lies are forgotten and no one is held accountable, we will just continue to accept lies as a basis for our national policy. The basis for invading Iraq was a lie. When we go to war on the basis of lies, I consider that a war crime. It's never too late to prosecute war crimes. When a library is built to enshrine the legacy of a war criminal, everyone should be outraged. I certainly am. The dedication of that lie-bury is the perfect opportunity to inform the public. We continue to go to war. We talk about new "opportunities" to go to war. We need look carefully at our past decisions to make sure our future decisions aren't based on lies.

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