In a highly controversial and unprecedented move, the Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban protests from being held outside the residences of politicians and other officials, as reported by Fox News.
The council voted by a margin of 12-2 to approve a measure that forbids public protests from taking place within 300 feet of residences owned by any public figure that is the target of protesters’ anger. The ordinance will formally go into effect on September 21st. The measure was proposed by Council President Nury Martinez, along with Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, after they both saw crowds of protesters outside their homes, in opposition to vaccine mandates in the city.
Martinez made numerous unsubstantiated claims about the protesters outside her home, claiming that they were “banging on my door, banging on my windows, harassing my neighbors, screaming obscenities into my daughter’s bedroom, and yelling into bullhorns asking me to come out and threatening my life.” Martinez presented no evidence to back up any of these allegations, but vowed to crack down on the protesters’ freedom of speech in order to guarantee her own safety.
“Members,” she continued in her speech before the council, “quite frankly, I’m done with the entire thing. I’m done with the threats. I am prepared to put an end to this.”
The new measure threatens to sue anyone found in violation of the policy, and implement fines of up to $1,000 per person. Numerous members of the public spoke out against the new restrictions, pointing out that they constituted a violation of the First Amendment, with some already threatening lawsuits to overturn the new ordinance.