CALL TO ACTION: Cape Coral, FL isn't the only battleground in the fight for the First Amendment, but it's a darned good place to start

I know, it’s a long title… but it had to be done. 

This is not a post about what’s happening in Florida re: the cancelled tea party.  There are plenty of diaries here at RedState that discuss exactly that.  Rather, this is a post about what to do about it.  It’s very easy for RedStaters to point to the would-be protestors in Florida and tell them they ought to protest anyway.  In fact, there are several good suggestions written as responses right here on RS.  And I do intend to get to that, somewhat.  But more importantly, this is about what we — anyone who cares about liberty — ought to do.

I introduced the following recommendation on Erick’s post regarding the events in Florida, and I hope to expand on them here.

First, allow me to reiterate that, even though this is a local issue, it is one that is important to all of us.  Though Cape Coral is the first municipality to actually cancel a scheduled protest, it comes out of the same attitudes that allow for other municipalities — any government entity, really — to believe they can, or even should, issue “permits” for a peaceful assembly.

We as Republicans — as people who claim to value freedom — cannot and should not tolerate the idea that this natural right, protected by our Constitution, should be subject to the approval of a government entity.  No matter who, by the way, is protesting.  Whether protestors are for us, politically, or against us, we must make it incumbent on ourselves to defend their right to do so.   Our forbears’ failure to protect those with whom we have disagreed in the past is precisely why we find ourselves in this prediciment now.  Freedom is freedom; and freedom denied is tyranny for all.

So what do we, freedom-loving people, do about what’s happening now?  What do we do about states and municipalities in which the government demands hoops be jumped through in order to have access to our simple right of free assembly?  More to the point, what do we do about a municipality that has changed its mind, and cancelled the approval to protest, as has happened here?  What do we, who claim to value the Constitution as dearly as our own lives, do about the fact that “approval for protest” even exists in the American vernacular?

I can think of two things.  The first has been mentioned by myself and many fellow RedStaters, and is both valid and necessary: Protest Anyway.  Both links above go to Erick’s post, and below the linked responses are several excellent ideas regarding how to carry on the protest in the face of this adversity.  I’m not going to repost them here, but I’ll summarize by saying: SHOW UP.  You don’t need a permit to stand on public property, even if you are holding a sign, or wearing a t-shirt.  And if a bunch of other people happen to have the same idea at the same time, well, that’s just convenient.  Your taxes pay for that upkeep.  It’s your property.  Show up, and have your say.

The second response is also important.  The second step recognizes the fact that some people in government have seen fit to deny rights expressly protected by the First Amendment, by claiming authority over those rights which they never should have had.  It also only works if many of us are involved and organized. Sending angry emails can be useful, but it doesn’t show the force, resolve and organization that is necessary to send the right message.

And what is the right message?  Simple:  We (lovers of liberty) are many, we are organized, and we are pissed.  To that end,  what I am proposing is, in essence, a harrassment campaign.   The goal is to make an example of the Cape Coral City Council.  The effort is totally harmless, but it puts them, and others, on notice that we are watching.

The effort itself is simply a campaign of phonecalls, emails and faxes.  By itself, not much different from what grass roots organizations — RedState included — do all the time.  The key here, however, is in the timing and in the message.  We must be coordinated to make this work. 

First the message:  Every call, every fax, every email should say more or less the same thing:
You cannot rescind the First Amendment.  No permits for protests.  The Cape Coral Tea Party will happen.

This message should start coming in to the City offices at around the same time.  Calls should start at the same time, the emails sent, the faxes beginning to come in.  If there’s a busy signal, hang up go to the next number.  Keep cycling the numbers until somebody picks up.  Once they do, deliver the message, hang up, cross it off the list, and start cycling again.  Call every number.  Get somebody on every line.  If it’s an answering machine, leave a message and move on. 

The numbers listed are for the mayor, the city council and the Parks Department (who, for some reason, made the final decision).

City Council
phone: 239-574-0437
fax: 239-574-0429
email: [email protected]

Jim Burch, Mayor
Phone: 239-574-0436
Email: [email protected]
Term Expires: November 2009

District 1: Gloria Tate
Email: [email protected]
District 2: Peter Brandt
Email: [email protected]
District 3: William Deile
Email: [email protected]
District 4: Dolores Bertolini
Email: [email protected]
District 5: Eric D. Grill
Email: [email protected]
District 6: Timothy Day
Email: [email protected]
District 7: Derrick L. Donnell Ed. D
Email: [email protected]

Contact UsParks and Recreation
Phone: 239-573-3128
Fax: 239-573-3129

(h/t: ColdWarrior for the info)

Because time will be needed to get people on board, I can’t recommend a time.  First, I’d like to know how many would be on board with this effort, and how many can get others on board.  There needs to be as many of us as possible, so even if it takes a few days to organize, in my opinion, it would be well worth the effort.

So there it is.  We can organize this.  We can send a clear message about our strength and our resolve.  IF we’re willing to do it.  I’m willing to take any and all suggestions about organizing this effort, but remember that it has to happen quickly. 

So first things first: Who will do this with me?  Who will be a part of this effort to tell this and all government bodies and municipalities that they simply don’t have the right to remove those of their citizens?  Any takers?