California RSOL led a successful protest in Carson, which included a diverse group of about 50 registered citizens, family members and supporters. It is believed to be the first protest of registered citizens in the nation.
“We broke new ground in Carson on March 7, 2015, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s march from Selma, Alabama,” stated CA RSOL president Janice Bellucci. “The core issue in both protests was the violation of civil rights.”
The Carson protest focused upon a city law that prohibits registered citizens from loitering in or within 300 feet of public places such as libraries, parks and swimming pools as well as private places such as restaurants that have children’s playgrounds. The City of Carson agreed to revise its ordinance in a settlement agreement reached on July 25, 2014, but the City Council later refused to honor the agreement. The City Council recently considered revision of the ordinance during its meeting on March 4, 2015, but decided instead to indefinitely postpone any changes to that ordinance.
“The City of Carson is an outlier and an outlaw,” stated CA RSOL vice president Chance Oberstein. “The City Council is aware that there are court decisions determining that similar ordinances are preempted by state law and has willfully chosen to disobey them.”
The protest began at Carson City Hall where protesters selected signs to carry and short speeches were made by CA RSOL president Bellucci, CA RSOL treasurer Frank Lindsay and National Lawyers Guild attorney John Viola. Carrying signs and banners that proclaimed “Carson Violates the Constitution” and “Carson Breaks Promises”, the protesters started a one-mile march down Avalon Boulevard toward Calas Park. During the march, the drivers of several automobiles honked their horns in support. Despite a front page article in the local newspaper stating, “Sex Offenders to Protest Today”, no one showed up to voice disagreement with the protest.
The protesters safely arrived at a spot 300 feet from the park where registered citizens stopped and their family members continued to the park. Refreshments were served in the park to family members and to registered citizens at a site 300 feet from the park. Refreshments for registered citizens were delivered in a small, red wagon pulled by the 7-year-old daughter and wife of a registered citizen who carried a sign, “I love a registered citizen”.
In a surprising and humane moment, a member of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department stated that registered citizens could move from their site on a hot sidewalk with no shade to a shaded, grassy site across the street from the park. From the new location, registered citizens could view their family members at the park but could not join them without fear of arrest.
“I miss having picnics in the park with my family,” stated one registered citizen. “We used to have picnics together almost every week.”
During the picnic, at least six patrol cars were parked near the park, however, no one was arrested. As the picnic came to a close, one sheriff’s deputy noted that the picnic site was cleaner after the picnic than it was before the picnic.
Note: if you do not wish to be shown in one of these photos please let us know via the Contact Us page and we will remove your likeness asap.