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File #: Ord 21-6    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Archived
In control: City Council
Final action: 3/3/2021
Title: Amending Chapter 366A of the Legislative Code entitled “Parades, Races and Public Assemblies” to prohibit possession of certain items at such events. (To be withdrawn)
Sponsors: Amy Brendmoen
Attachments: 1. Ord 21-6 - Anneka Munsell email 3-1-21, 2. Ord 21-6 - April Mootz email 3-1-21, 3. Ord 21-6 - Carrie Pomeroy email 2-27-21, 4. Ord 21-6 - Jeremy Stomberg email 2-28-21, 5. Ord 21-6 - Skyla Thiel email 2-28-21, 6. Ord 21-6 - Skyla Thiele voice mail 2-28-21, 7. Ord 21-6 - James E. Wilkinson email 2-23-21, 8. Ordinance 21-6 , Jana Floyd email, 9. Ord 21-6 , Coly Intemann email, 10. Rachstanton Email, 11. Scott Email, 12. ORD 21-6 Ward 2 Public Comments
Amending Chapter 366A of the Legislative Code entitled “Parades, Races and Public Assemblies” to prohibit possession of certain items at such events. (To be withdrawn)



WHEREAS, it is imperative that individuals engaging in peaceful expressive public activity, and law enforcement personnel dedicated to protecting such activity, be allowed to do so without suffering injury; and

WHEREAS, numerous protests and public assemblies conducted throughout the nation in cities such as Charlottesville, St. Louis, and Berkeley, as well as cities in Minnesota, such as Minneapolis and Saint Paul have erupted in violence between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, including massive destruction of property, and violence against law enforcement personnel; and

WHEREAS, individuals, acting alone or in concert with others, have used improvised weapons to inflict injury upon members of the public attending these events and law enforcement personnel responding to these events, thereby posing a real and serious threat to life and safety. In addition, individuals, acting alone or in concert have also used improvised shields to conceal illegal activity, including but not limited to destruction or defacing of property, thereby posing a real and serious threat to property; and

WHEREAS, various improvised items have been used to injure attendees and harm or incapacitate law enforcement officers, including wood and metal pipes, poles, bats, chains, projectiles (such as rocks, concrete, pellets and ball bearings), glass bottles and containers filled with inflammable or noxious substances, and aerosol sprays deployed to cause flames or attack olfactory systems. In addition, spray paint has been used to deface and damage property; and

WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul has a compelling interest in allowing individuals to engage in peaceful expressive public activity, while at the same time protecting those individuals and law enforcement personnel dedicate...

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Date NameDistrictOpinionCommentAction
3/10/2021 2:37 AMIan Hedberg Against I must express my vehement opposition to this ordinance. Peaceful protesting is guaranteed by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution *explicitly*. Allowing civilians to voice dissastisfaction is essential to allow the state to change course before tensions erupt into full violence. I would be appalled to see Saint Paul adopt the same kind of repressive measures some foreign states use to suppress dissent, such as limiting gatherings to 5 or fewer people without state approval. Furthermore, this seems to be an attempt to suppress violent clashes between white supremacists and anti-fascists. Such clashes are the result of deep conflict originating in white colonization of North America and the institution of slavery. The violence cannot be eliminated simply by outlawing protest. Street violence is already illegal! We should not go down the path of heavy police repression of public dissent, nor give police broad discretion to arrest protestors based on sign stick size etc. +4 -4 3
3/2/2021 7:50 PMYvonne Cournoyer Against I am vehemently opposed to this effort to severely restrict and limit our Constitutional right to free speech and ***embly. There are already laws and ordinances prohibiting violence. Peaceful protests are an important way for citizens to lift up issues and raise concerns with governmental leaders. Requiring permits to ***emble is an unnecessarily harsh and extreme method for controlling protesters. And when not backed up with any call for restraint from the police, who through their aggressive responses to peaceful protests often provoke and escalate violence, this Ordinance will not prevent violence at protests and demonstrations. History shows that ordinances like this are unfairly enforced on Black and Brown people. With the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, St. Paul has an opportunity to demonstrate that we value engaged citizens and our right to peacefully ***emble and protest. Vote NO on Ordinance 21-6. +3 -3 3
3/2/2021 7:16 PMJames Wilkinson   Error in previous comment corrected here: Minnesota law allows police officers to ask for, review and conduct signature verification for people carrying guns in the city who have permits and take action against those who do not have valid permits. +3 -3 3
3/2/2021 7:13 PMJames Wilkinson Against The proposal does not even address the possession of illegal or unlicensed guns at events here!!! Minnesota law limits St Paul's response to the increased intimidation by carrying of guns at demonstrations, parades, etc.- an almost 100% radical white nationalist phenomenon seen here. However, the City is NOT without any tools to address this. Minnesota law allows police officers to ask for, review and conduct signature verification for people carrying guns in the city. It criminalizes carrying permitted guns when under the influence of alcohol or drugs and authorizes police to address such cir***stances by using familiar screening tests. I have sent suggested language that addresses this issue by adding such weapons to the banned list and prioritizing gun checks to council members, but it does not appear that there is any real interest by sponsors in addressing the most dangerous weapons we are sure to see at times of unrest. I hope to be proven wrong. +3 -3 3
3/1/2021 8:47 PMBetsy MV Against I think this proposal creates creates excessive limitations on community members who wish to exercise their rights to free speech and public ***embly. The expectation of permits limits the ability of people to gather spontaneously based on what is happening at the moment. The city can't possibly get a permit approved within a short period of time. With the permit costing money, this also puts up a barrier for low wealth residents and BIPOC individuals. This is an ordinance written in a way to severely limit and penalize people. Is it in the best interest of anyone to be citing or arresting people for having a sign that's too large? It should not be p***ed. +3 -2 2
3/1/2021 6:16 PMLucas Cragg Against As noted by other commenters, this appears to be absolutely ripe for abuse against legitimate protest and does nothing to prevent violence being perpetrated by law enforcement or by the blackshirt wannabes. Drop this. +2 -2 2
2/27/2021 12:57 PMMike Reynolds Against As James Wilkinson notes, the proposed revisions add a slate of specific prohibitions that seem to enable inequitable enforcement of the basic underlying ordinance about public safety. The revisions constrain public ***embly in ways that could, for instance, allow harsher measures against Black Lives Matter protests while providing no greater regulation of the Proud Boys marching with semi-automatics. I would urge the Council to vote no on the revisions as proposed. +9 -2 2
2/25/2021 8:55 PMJames Wilkinson Against This is worse than the first version as it seems to remove the "warn first" provision. The new language on allowing some sticks for signs does not make sense when I read the sentence. Is the real danger to St. Paul is from BLM and anti-right demonstrators with 2x4s , containers of milk, etc. or from proud boys with guns and kevlar vests? Create more crimes on our books and you will see that these are used against oppressed communities. +10 -2 2