Sunday, January 27, 2013

Be Quiet.

While at the library today doing research for the Oaklandwiki, my new obsession, I came across this article from the Oakland Tribune. In full, from February 27th, 1934 (no byline):

City Council Votes Against Applause Ban: Resolution for Police to Eject Persons Who Violate Rules is Rejected.

The City Council yesterday voted down a resolution which would have given the police department the duty of ejecting persons who violate the rules against applause and demonstrations at city council sessions.

The resolution was introduced by Mayor W. J. McCracken and received the votes of Councilman Walter Jacobsen and Herbert L. Beach but all the others voted against it except James A. DePaoli, who was excused.

Councilman George Fitzgerald said that "the matter of decorum is covered by Rule 16, which says that the President of the Council shall preserve order and has the power to eject summarily any persons who are disorderly."

Councilman Alex Arlett said: "The Mayor has made many speeches outside and didn't stop the applause, but now he wants to stop public taxpayers in a public building. Handicaps are all right here. If they get boisterous, shut them off."

Councilman John F Slavich declared that "Demonstrations at public meetings are often spontaneous and this Council should not adopt any hard and fast rule."

DePaoli said: "This is a public building and we are transacting the business of the City of Oakland and should not be subject to interruptions."

Mayor McCracken explained his resolution by saying: "We are here not to be humiliated or intimidated by any noisy delegations. Noise and applause do not give outsiders the impression of dignity. As for Rule 16 giving me ample power no presiding officer should have always on his mind the matter of ejecting someone or stopping demonstrations. I think some courtesy should be given to the presiding officer in this matter."

"It looks like we are trying to overrule the rights of the people," said Councilman James Quinn. "There seems to be a fear that someone may offend us. I'm not afraid of it. We bring up the most ridiculous things in this council, anyway."