Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walk Like a Man

I mentioned last week that our recent Face the Truth Tour went swimmingly, and that unlike the previous two years, we had no major run-ins with local police.

Leading up to our recent Tour, we extensively researched the municipal codes of the various communities we would be visiting and assembled copies of the relevant ordinances for each in a binder that we could have on hand to show local law enforcement if we were questioned about our right to conduct such a demonstration. (As it turned out, this binder came in very handy at one site in particular, as it helped to defuse a potentially difficult confrontation with police in south suburban Burbank on 16 July.)

In many communities, the ordinances governing demonstrations like ours — wherein we coordinate groups of people who stand alongside the street holding large, graphic abortion pictures — are in the same section as ordinances governing parades.

In the course of researching these municipal codes, we noted with interest how the village of Chicago Ridge defines a "parade":

Parade means any organized procession or march as for display or to march, or walk through as for display, or to make a display of or to show off, to walk about ostentatiously, or the assembly in formation by any persons upon the public streets, sidewalks or public places in the village. Public assemblages or addresses and meetings shall come within the scope of this definition for purposes and requirements of obtaining a permit or license.

It was the fact that "walk[ing] about ostentatiously" without a permit is actually on the books as verboten that gave us all a good laugh.

This discovery prompted me to recall this:

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