Council Must Protect First Amendment

The city council should not complain about public speakers who have said what the council refuses to discuss about racism, discrimination and retaliation by the administration of Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

Instead of limiting public speaking by setting up boundaries, the city council should embrace it and learn something about the residents they are supposed to be representing.

The public speaking element of the city council’s meetings has overtaken the council’s inability to reign in the mayor, his city solicitor and the city’s CFO.

Now the city council has begun discussing how to streamline the public speaking portion of the meetings.

That is, how can they figure out a way to muzzle the public speakers with rules and regulations they don’t themselves follow?

How can they quiet the public speakers?

How can the council stop the political uprising now taking place in Everett instead of taking part in it for the better public good?

The city council appears more interested in getting out of the meetings early without having to discuss distasteful issues like racism.

This would make the meetings “better” and “quicker” they seem to be saying.

“All this talk about racism, discrimination and retaliation is just too much for us to discuss as we are not supposed to say anything meaningful against one another,” the council has agreed..

So the council is now looking to discuss ways to limit discussions and to act as censors about public speaking when the very essence of freedom of speech is, quite frankly, protecting freedom of speech.

It may be distasteful and difficult for the council to have to listen to speaker after speaker decrying racism against the city’s Black and Brown and Hispanic majority.

What should the city council do about this?

What do they want to do?

Limit public speaking. Determine what can be spoken about and above all, attempt to silence free speech voices pleading for a change. The last group in this city who should be empowered to limit public speaking by upset residents is the city council.

The folly of allowing such a group of silent elected public officials to preside over freedom of speech is an insult to democracy in this city.

The council wants to return to yesterday.

The council seeks to quiet people down who were responsible for one of their colleagues having to resign in disgrace be- cause of his racist attitudes so publicly put on display.

Even then, the council failed to act or to speak out against racism and hatred, ignorance and incompetence for months before Anthony DiPierro finally resigned in disgrace.

The Leader Herald warns that limiting freedom of speech by creating new boundaries to honest discussion about crucial issues would be a crime.

Everyone in this city has a right to their say before the city council without fear of retribution, retaliation or disdain.

The city council is miffed that meetings taking much longer because of the public speaking portion.

This is not a valid reason to stifle free speech.

The city council allowed to act as censors is a criminal attempt to hi-jack the public speaking portion of the meetings.

Under no circumstances should this be allowed to happen.

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