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Here's the anatomy of how to expect to be harassed at the publicly owned Ball park in Cleveland by off-duty police officers in full PD attire:

They'll tell you the whole of the area (indeed the whole of downtown if they could) is off limits to free speech. They'll lie to you and tell you that this was decided by the courts and those complaining Native Americans lost. They'll offer you a special place, bless their hearts, that they'll provide for a "Free Speech Zone" courtesy of George W. Bush. That Zone will be well away from any pedestrian traffic or fans or the public excepting if they're in a bus or auto going 35mph down 9th Street.
But they're mendacious at best, lying sacks of... most likely. But they have the handcuffs, radios and brandish the 9mm's. So they must be right. And they're security personnel while working for Gateway - a Quasi-Public (read private corp types) "entity" that hides behind a non-profit org to keep the taxpaying public at bay. Call it a cronie charity of the Quasi-corrupt politicians at City Hall. With your money, ready to haul you off for daring to oppose their latest Corporate Welfare Scheme for billionaire sports owners.

So read through this material, print it out and inform others of the rights you have on the sidewalks that ring the whole complex according the the US Court of Appeals in UCC v Gateway:

We have complained, vociferously to the powers that be at City Hall and believe me they don't appreciate the input save on fellow down there.  They HATE this shit. It ruins their day. I'll post the play-by-play of exactly how this ended on an April Wed. evening in our shrinking downtown spaces that aren't corporate controlled on your dime. See the next post above.

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FYI if you're going down to Progressive Field during political season:
Here are some handouts you can print up to educate yourself and others on Public Fora spaces around the Gateway Sports Complex. The Security personnel are harassing any politickers against the #SinTax in the run up to the May 6 elections and disregarding the US Court of Appeals 6th District in their 2004 opinion striking down their sidewalk grab for NO FREE SPEECH ZONE. These personnel are off duty police officers fully geared and uniformed. They are also uninformed about their direct violation of the 1st Amendment.
Some of us are in the midst of sorting the boundary issues out and forcing the city's hand in finally, officially identifying the boundaries between the non-public fora (of a publicly owned property - go figure that) that Gateway disallows free speech on if it's not Pro #SinTax  speech and the public fora sidewalks that ring the complex that the US courts have designated as protected. But the City as we well know, does not like citizens asserting their rights are claiming public space when they want to hand it over to their friends and cronies.

Here is the opinion if your interested in informing yourself and others about how this bizarre and insulting situation has arisen on assets that the public funded. It's a downloadable pdf.

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This is what happens when you attempt to participate in the public process during elections season if you happen to be on the wrong side of any issue the wealthy oppose. Like Corporate Welfare for Billionaire sports owners.
The sidewalk,which the US Court of Appeals slapped Gateway about in 2004 in their real estate grab, belongs to the public. No Quasi-Public scheme meant to protect vested capital interests and owners from criticism and transparency can claim they can abrogate a citizen's 1st Amendment rights on public fora space. And guess what? Sidewalks woven into the streetscape of downtown that we pay for for egress and travel and recreation and information IS public fora space.
No city, county or any other municipal construct can trump your Constitutional right to politick on a street corner or sidewalk all the while claiming it's out of their hands because of a contract or lease.

These spaces exist side by side with non-public fora spaces of dubious creation - but that still has to be tested further than UCC, the ACLU and the anti-Wahoo people have gotten with their case of 2004.
In many cases these spaces have no clear boundary since they look just like parks and they even call the "commons" but they'd like the privileges that Disney or your favorite Casino get when they create these non-public public spaces with taxpayer monies.

In any event the sidewalks our ours that ring the perimeter of the Gateway Complex and none of these cronies and rent-a-cops can say otherwise. The hard part is getting the City and County to understand that they need clear boundaries painted on the pavement or public signage with clear zones highlighted and dimensions that stop the arguments between cops (off duty) and regular citizens. Handouts with the city's authority or a court injunction ultimately will be necessary to assert the endless battle with these forces steamrolling the public thoroughfares with false notions of privatization of all the assets that belong to the public.

We'll see how far this goes. But if you'd like to join the fight during election season then RT this or copy and paste to a friend or even go down there and engage them in as friendly a manner as you can muster knowing the whole time they couldn't care less about the public or the Constitution of the United States of America. All the time they stand with their hands on their hearts singing God Bless America in what used to be a wonderful diversion in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. Our America is disappearing daily under the constant onslaught of the cronie capitalists.

Tom Johnson would be ashamed.

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If it's not on your radar yet, very soon we have an Ohio State Supreme Court decision on City of Cleveland vs. Erin McCardle and Leatrice Tolls. This will be a landmark case going forward to the issue of free speech and public assembly on our public squares in Ohio if not the rest of the nation. The case has been making its way through the state appellate court and now since the City of Cleveland is challenging its curfew ordinance being overturned by the Eight District Appeals Court of Ohio, it has landed in front of the State Supreme Court of Ohio.

The impact on time and place restrictions that have been otherwise assumed by local officials without challenge on these over broad applications cannot be overstated. We are watching this closely and expect a ruling in the next week or so.

Here is a fine commentary over at by Marianne Bettman:

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Anyone wanna Occupy the Square on New Years Eve 2013? Here's our last celebration before we were so rudely interrupted:

Occupy 2012

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Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina can be sued for violating the constitutional rights of Occupy Columbia protesters for having them arrested on the state capital grounds for trespassing after 6pm on Nov. 16, 2011, a federal appeals court ruled on Dec 16, 2013. Seems she had no statute to charge them with. Funny that. Yet this went all the way to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond Virginia costing the S.C. taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars so far.

I guess it was worth it for all these Mayors, Governors to sweep the grounds no matter the costs or grotesque violations to free speech in America. If this is America anymore.

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Al Porter from Black on Black Crime on what food stamps meant for him growing up and what they mean today in terms of survival:

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Greg Coleridge breaking down the brutal, corrupt economics of the Food Stamp Cuts on Cleveland Public Square, Tom Johnson Quadrant for Free Speech. Greg at his best and one of the great speakers of open spaces in Cleveland.

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Pam Rosado of Policy Matters Ohio doing amazing breakdown of impact of SNAP cuts in Ohio come Jan 1st 2014. Yet another great Cleveland public speaker at Tom Johnson Quadrant.

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Stop the Food Stamp Cuts on Tom Johnson Quadrant, Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio on Dec 17, 2013.
A coalition of labor, policy and community groups gathered on the Free Speech quadrant on a cold, cold day to exercise their right of free speech to speak out against the cut to SNAP program.
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