The CBDG Grant for the new Community Center requires a letter from the Town of White Springs stating they will allow protests. This I believe is because in order to build the new community center it means that People have the right to free speech due to the fact that the Carver School will be torn down. You will recall that no advertisements were made in local papers but in the Gainesville Sun and Lake City Reporter. And, even those newspapers did not indicate that in order to build the community center, the Carver School would have to be torn down and demolished. Joe and I only found out by asking for a copy of the Grant Application which included an estimate from Hamilton County to demolish the Carver School.
Councilman McKenzie stated he hoped that protesters would not stand up in front of the office and yell at the Office Staff in protest.
Yet, “Everybody believes in free speech,” Ungar notes, “until you get to the topic on which they don’t.” And the Town did not advertise that the intent for the new community grant was to demolish the Carver School.
Although many states have restrictive laws with penalties which have been vastly toughened. Few people would be willing to protest of they believed they could be easily arrested, fined, imprisoned or even killed. Today’s regular citizens aren’t keeping track of the detail. which can be a problem.
Today States are criminalizing things that are pretty routine and ,much of the activism of the Vietnam and civil rights era would be completely illegal” under the new laws.The counter sit-ins that were a staple of civil rights protests in the ’60s would, under some new legislation, be punishable because they “disrupt commerce. Florida even considered a bill that, in some cases, would exempt drivers from liability if they struck a protester.
In any event, you are allowed free speech and since the Carver School is listed as a historic landmark with the state, I am certain more than the Williams family may be upset with its demolition. It is up to you, citizens to let the Town know your feelings about this situation.
As far as I am concerned, at least the Carver school needs a new roof and some new electrical codes complied with, while S. H. E. has sunk to the ground on one end and also needs vast repairs and codes complied with. Yet Mayor Lofton feels the tenants are to pay for the code enforcement on S.H.E. What a joke!
Karin for the blog