NLG-LA condemns the Los Angeles City Council’s decision to pass a new protest ordinance designed to chill First Amendment Activity

The National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles condemns the Los Angeles City Council’s decision to pass, without discussion, an ill-conceived and needless ordinance prohibiting protest activity within 300 feet of a residential dwelling. It is clear that this new law, which carries a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation, is intended to chill First Amendment activity and shield Council Members, the Mayor, and other elected officials from the inconvenience of hearing Angelenos voice their dissatisfaction at the ongoing failures of our political leadership. In lieu of adequately addressing housing insecurity, police killings, and the ever-widening economic inequality in one of the richest cities in the world, this Council has chosen to focus on curtailing activism. The fact that the ordinance targets and prohibits not just organizers from protesting, but the act of organizing a protest itself, lays bare this thinly veiled attempt by City Council to silence dissent. We are acutely aware that the biggest contributor of noise pollution in Los Angeles is not the organized chants of protestors in front of residential dwellings but rather the daily incessant hovering of LAPD helicopters above residential dwellings, which cost roughly a thousand dollars an hour to operate and do nothing to promote public safety. We strongly encourage this City Council to redirect its time and energy toward limiting bloated police budgets and securing humane housing for all, instead of developing new laws that limit political speech. 

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