Speaking up in a public meeting should result in violations of someone’s rights under the First (“peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”), Fifth (“nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”), or Eighth (“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”) Amendments. Anti-fracking activist Alma Hasse is seeking legal redress. This could be a nationwide trend, with one local bully apologizing to Nydia Tisdale to avoid jail in Forsyth County, Georgia, after settling for $200,000 for being ejected from the Cummings, Georgia City Council for videoing. Nydia hasn’t filed charges yet for the case of the six missing screams, in which she was forcibly ejected from a public campaign event headlined by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal for videoing. Maybe if you advertise a public meeting, you can’t throw someone out for videoing, and you can’t arrest somebody for speaking up in public government meeting.
Tuesday morning assailant Peggy Green apologized a year after Nydia Tisdale asked. The judge remarked he was happy at the outcome so nobody had to face jail time. So, if you want your meeting to be private, don’t advertise it as “open to the public”. And when someone shows up with a camera, don’t try to throw them out, especially not physically.