Well, this is progress of a sort. When I lived in L-view in the 80's there were lots of folks who would have wanted to give CCJC the keys to the city.
Money quote from a guy I worked with--"you know what I like about Washington? No niggers."
Folks like that (including several blood relations) are just one of the reasons I got out of that town as fast as my college scholarship would carry me.
And I agree, the fact that local politicians are even debating this issue means progress has been made in that regard.
Being from Longview, I can assure you that their balls and their lawyers are nowhere near Lynnwood's caliber.
I only remember the arts center being used for craft fairs and local theater productions. However, I'm not surprised that the group has chosen Longview to be its potential host.
I'm from Longview too. I agree with L-Townie, I'm somehow not surprised to see the group trying to come there, but I'll be proud of my home city if they keep them away.
I think Longview is better described as "near Portland" than outside of Seattle.
"Lynnwood wouldn’t ban the Watchmen because they would’ve undoubtedly been sued." And undoubtedly would've lost, handing the group a pr victory and the right to be paid their attorneys fees.
"Maybe Longview’s city officials have brassier balls" -- what, they should violate the First Amendment by excluding this group based on the content of their speech?
If they do, they will lose. The gov't cannot ban or discriminate against "bad speech" --the 1st Amendment protects all speech.
If it only protected popular speech, or what the gov't deemed to be "good speech," then fairly quickly the Stranger, "1984", Mein Kampf and Das Kapital would be banned in many towns across America.... and we'd see gov't-paid-for copies of Pat Robertson's works in every government office....
Advocating "free speech", even speech one vehemently disagrees with is one thing. But providing public resources for the express purpose of supporting such speech is something completely different.
If CCJC wants to march down a public street shouting their slogans or whatever, however hateful, well, it's a free country supposedly. But, I don't think that equates with a public municipality being in put in the position of having to rent a facility they own and operate to such a group.
Once currency becomes involved, then it becomes a transactional relationship, and common law and statute allow the owners of facilities to place all manner of restrictions on how they may be used and for what purpose.
The problem in the Lynnwood example is that the City entered into a transactional relationship with a hate group without knowing in advance who they were and what sort of speech they were promoting; once the contract had been signed, it became very difficult for them to back out without suffering legal consequences. But, so far as I'm aware, there's no such limitation on refusing to enter into such a contractual agreement in the first place, which is the position the Longview City Council seems to be taking over Anagnotou's well-meaning, but (I believe) incorrect interpretation.
After all, any public establishment has the "right to refuse service" to anyone they see fit to refuse; I don't see this situation being any different from that, so long as no agreements have been entered into prior to the refusal.
(Wow...Comte...You're from Longview?)
I have been following the comment thread in the Longview Daily News (www.tdn.com) for the past few days and it has been rather disheartening, (and unfortunately, not very surprising,) to see that there have been more then a few comments in support of this "church" having their meeting in town. My Dad is full Chinese and ran both Denny's in the area for many years. I wonder how many of these "fine upstanding citizens" ate at them?
On the one hand, I hate these types of groups and wish that they didn't exist. Unfortunately, they do and we have to deal with them. As much as it pains me to say it, I have to agree with Councilmember Anagnostou. I think that the ACLU would be on the City in a heartbeat if they refused to rent out the building.
However, I also think that plans should be discussed at the next Council meeting about how they will grant a license to any groups that will be protesting it. More then likely, I'd drive down and attend it if I could.
One other thing...Where's Wagle? LOL.
but comte, if the "government" refuses all paid service to certain groups, isn't that discriminating based on religion, or type of speech, or whatever other protected group/behavior du jour?
Are Watchmen a Religious Group or a Political Group? Do they have non-profit status?
Fuck it, just grandfather in the current hall's tenants in a lease, and quadruple the rent of vacancies. "Watchmen, Longview welcomes you. Now, that will $10,000 for weekdays, double for weekends."
I've got an idea. I'm going to found my own church and call it the Church of Jesus Christ, Muslim. Or perhaps "The Church of Jesus Christ, Jew" and claim that Jesus isn't really the messiah at all. Or best of all, and this one would get the Aryan dickweeds (who look absolutely nothing like the vedic peoples of northern India) and the Clams after me, The Church of Jesus Christ, Scientologist.
I live in the Longview area and I've gone back and forth on this one. While the doctrinal statement of the CJCC gives me that vomit taste in my mouth, I stand firmly for the Constitution of the United States. Our freedoms and rights cannot be arbitrary. One may enjoy my freedom to attend a little Baptist Church and offer prayers of thanksgiving for that right. Is it fair that the same person would fight against another's right to attend a different church? I think the wisest move for Longview officials would be to grant the building lease, but encourage civic groups to raise awareness amongst themselves that a wolf has entered the sheep pen. Don't give this small group of unorganized bigots too much attention. I personally think it will blow over. And to Jason...*hi* from Shawna (Milloy). From what I hear, Wagle is just fine these days.
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