“Freedom of assembly,” explains Wikipedia, “is the individual right to come together with other individuals and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests.” In addition, notes the online encyclopedia, “The right to petition the government is the freedom of individuals to petition their government for a correction or repair of some form of injustice without fear of punishment for the same.”
And unlike the “right” to health care or the “right” to a “living wage,” the rights to assemble and petition our government actually appear in the United States Constitution – a document which the bureaucrats down at the Clark County (Nev.) Department of Parks and Recreation are apparently woefully ignorant of.
As you probably already know, hundreds of Tax Day TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Parties are being organized for next
Tuesday Wednesday, April 15th, from sea to shining sea. The purpose is for individuals to come together and collectively express opposition and draw public attention to out-of-control government tax-and-spend policies. These citizen rallies are being organized by average Americans primarily using the Internet to invite fellow citizens who share this common interest to participate.
One such TEA party is being organized for Las Vegas by citizen-volunteer extraordinaire Susane Crawford.
The Vegas TEA party/rally was originally planned for the main post office across from the McCarran Airport; however, not wanting to interfere with last-minute tax filers who might need to get into the parking lot to pay their “fair share,” organizers decided to move the event to a public park down the street where there would be plenty of room and plenty of parking.
Indeed, Sunset Park would appear to be an ideal location. The public facility is described on the SunsetCities.com website as follows: “Sunset Park is the focus of a surprising number of activities. Almost every day a group is having an event or activity there. The place is rather large with a large lake at the south end of it so it can accommodate a lot.”
Alas, Susane was told she needed to pay $800 (which she didn’t have) for a “permit” to use the public park for two hours to assemble peacefully with like-minded citizens to petition our government to stop raising our taxes. So the TEA party was forced to Plan B, which was to simply walk a picket line on the sidewalks surrounding the park and intersection. Not exactly conducive for a rally with speakers.
And that’s where Citizen Outreach came into the picture last night.
Since our IRS-approved non-profit mission is to “put the public back in public policy,” I volunteered to pay the $800 for the “permit” so that Susane could hold an appropriate and safe public assembly of citizens to petition their government.
And that’s when the fun really began.
No longer was it sufficient to obtain a “permit” to exercise the constitutional rights to peacefully assemble and petition the government. Susane was told her TEA party would have to hire security guards and rent port-o-potties, something I don’t recall being required of the patriots in Boston at the original American tea party. But we said OK.
And then the bureaucrats turned down our “permit” request anyway, saying they feared that since this rally had “gone viral” on the Internet, too many people might show up. Apparently it’s only OK with the government if we hold a rally that no one attends.
So I did what any other red-blooded American would do today facing such a situation.
No, I didn’t reach for my gun. I reached for my lawyer.
On advice of counsel, I asked Susane to call the bureaucrats back this morning and tell them we needed their denial decision in writing, along with who exactly made the decision and the phone number of that person for our attorney to call.
And that’s when the bureaucrats went into major league back-tracking, flip-flopping and hemming-and-hawing mode, trying to find a way to deny us the “permit” without incurring the wrath of our attorney – who has, by the way, a reputation not unlike the proverbial enraged ferret in a phone booth, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
What the bureaucrats came up with was that the only way we could hold our rally was if we were having a picnic. Then we could rent the park’s large picnic area.
So guess what?
We’re gonna have a TEA Party and PORK ROAST picnic!
Susane and I are scheduled to meet with the bureaucrats tomorrow afternoon to finalize the details, at which point I’ll let all of you know the exact place and time to join us for our “picnic.”
Oh, and one more thing:
Susane – who has done just an unbelievable job as a volunteer organizing this rally – may have just landed a very high-profile national keynote speaker who you FOX News viewers will immediately recognize. No, it’s not Colmes! Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned, TEA fans.