Friday, October 26, 2007

The right to peaceably assemble - Chapter 2

A couple of months back Sheriff Dan Beck was cancelled at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake because the hotel didn’t want any trouble. (Beck was to talk about ways to enforce immigration laws locally.)

Well, Sheriff Beck is back in town. They booked a hall at McHenry County College and he’ll be speaking there tonight. The Minuteman group paid $400 for insurance to cover the event.

But behind the scenes there was an effort to get the college to cancel the event. An advocacy group called Latinos Unidos presented 400 signatures to the college administration requesting that they ban Beck and any other anti-illegal immigration events at the school.

And just how did the college respond to their request? Read it yourself. The quote below is from McHenry County College President Walter Packard:
"If we start picking and choosing which groups can speak and which can't, you're going down a slippery path. Particularly in our college environment, you have to be prepared to listen to a wide range of ideas in order to learn."

Thank you, President Packard.

But stay tuned, folks. Packard told Minuteman lawyer Suzanne Walters a couple of days ago that "everyone knows" the Minutemen are a violent hate group. Walters asked him about that statement and he told her a Google search would substantiate his statement, though he'd never done so himself. I encourage him to try, as I did, to get the dirt on the Minutemen. (See my post "Vigilante Violence".) He's got some learning to do himself. Plus, he doesn't seem too willing to isolate and protect meeting attendees from protesters tonight.

Added to the post 10/27/07
Just a follow-up to the meeting. It went just fine according to the newspaper. Any protesters were kept away from the actual meeting. Maybe the rain helped keep them away.

A leader from Latino Coalition, Carlos Acosta, said that by enforcing the law Beck is causing illegal aliens to be victims of violent crimes without reporting them to police. I suppose the same could be said for citizens who are drug dealers; they just take it when they are victims of crime because they know they can't go to the police. Perhaps Carlos is suggesting some sort of amnesty for everyone who has a warrant out for their arrest? Now that's a good idea!

The only other negative comment was from a lady who compared the forum to Nazis, but she gave no specifics so I'm not sure what she meant.

The rest of the story.... Today in The Daily Herald the editor praised Packard and the college for demonstrating in a sensible way The Bill of Rights. The students who wanted to ban the Minutemen were told about how things work here in America. They were allowed to protest peacefully and the meeting was allowed to go on as well. It was a good piece. I do hope protests are allowed to continue in this country, along with peaceful meetings.

If only the editor would have addressed the swipe Packard took at the Minutemen...

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