Monday, March 30, 2009

Code Pink Denied Entry in Mississippi Parade

On Aprill 11, 2009 the city of Hernando Missippi is have a parade to send off National Guard troops being redeployed to Iraq. In response, Kelly Jacobs of Code Pink Mississippi submitted an entry fee of $10 to the MS Community Foundation as a representative of Code Pink Women for Peace to support the troops but to oppose the war. Below is an account of Jacobs experience with the city of Hernando, Mississippi which denied her free speech right to participate in a public event.

"On April 11th, 2009, at 1PM, my City of Hernando in Mississippi, is having another parade to send off our National Guard who are AGAIN being deployed to Iraq.
I got an entry application from the Mayor's Office, filled it out, and turned it in weeks ago with the entry fee of $10.00 made out to the Northwest MS Community Foundation, so I could represent Code Pink Women for Peace, who support the Troops but oppose the warS. There were no restrictions listed on the application, just the request of the entry fee.

Today I was called by Mary Beth Parker, who left a message on my answering machine that she's a member of the parade committee and to please call her back, which I did. Ms. Parker told me "No signs will be allowed in the parade." After I said what about Freedom of Speech she said this parade is for the troops and "We can't have anything against the war in the parade."

I asked her what her position is on this Committee who's saying I can't have signs and she told me she is the Vice President. I asked who is the President and she told me that she couldn't tell me. I said you have got to be kidding, is the name of the President of the Committee a secret?

She's not authorized to tell me and will have to call me back.

This is not the first time my freedom of speech was squished. When Dick Cheney came last year in May, the Southaven SWAT TEAM told me I couldn't protest in the FREE SPEECH Zone set up outside the DeSoto Civic Center. I had to leave or be arrested. I was also threatened with arrest in 2005 if I didn't remove my protest from the lawn of the County Seat because the Deputy didn't like the empty coffin I was using, and LIED and said I had to have a permit to be there... leave or be arrested!

November 1, 2005 The DeSoto Appeal page DS8 Viewpoints: Newspaper Editorial: Freedom starts with the Right to Protest. A REAL Editorial about how I was told I could not protest on Public Property, how that was wrong... I drove my decorated tractor in this same type parade in 2004, had signs all over it, and was never told of any restriction. I was boo' d all along the parade route, but I didn't care: Democrats Support the Troops!

Kelly Jacobs
MS State Coordinator for Code Pink! Women for Peace CODEPINK

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