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.
Arrested for standing silently in the back of a public meeting, Alma Hasse refused to cooperate with booking or to eat, instead helping prisoners with grievances. After a week, the Payette County, Idaho jail ejected her on her own recognizance with no bail. She says they still plan to charge her with something. Meanwhile, she’s back to filing open records requests, presumably about the Planning and Zoning Commission that had her arrested and that has a record of not divulging information even in response to FOIA requests. I smell a lawsuit, and not by P&Z. Maybe they should have gone to the VDT’s Open Government Symposium in Macon Friday. Maybe some of our local elected and appointed officials have learned that this isn’t the answer:
So it’s just if you disagree you’re disruptive.
The Payette County, Idaho Planning and Zoning Commission accused somebody of having previously provided false information and had her arrested for responding in a public hearing to a direct accusation by name. It appears that it was a Commissioner’s information that was misleading, and the same Commission has a history of not revealing relevant information even in response to an open records request. There is video of the Thursday event. She is still being held in jail, and permitted no outside communication.
Jerry Nelson wrote for Epoch Times 12 October 2014, Alma Hasse, Idaho Fractivist, Arrested in Public Meeting, Continue reading