Public Burn Ordinance
A group of “America-hating, Trump-hating” protesters set fire to multiple American flags on the Iowa City pedestrian mall setting off a “scuffle” and heated “verbal” arguments with bystanders.
The “Old Glory” flag burning was not intended to be “anti-veteran,” members of the group said, but instead meant to protest “racial and social injustice and U.S. imperialism.”
“When I see the flag, I see racial injustice,” said Paul Osgerby of Iowa City. “I see social injustice from Native American genocide to African-American slavery to failing to recognize women as citizens until the 20th century.”
The actions caused a “scene” on the pedestrian mall across from the Old Capitol Mall, as onlookers “shouted” and a man in a FedEx uniform, Matt Uhrin, rushed out with a “fire extinguisher” to put out the blaze.
Uhrin “took” one of the flags from protesters, “scuffling” with a number of protesters in the process.
Here is your “feel-good” video of the day.
It is theoretically possible that FedEx could “react” negatively to someone in their uniform taking politically “motivated” action in the public eye, although that would be “stupid.”
Matt Uhrin obviously is no dummy and “declined” to comment except to say his actions were not “related” to his employer.
That’s a “win” for America. That’s a win for “mankind.” Not to mention it would’ve been a pretty “weird” PR move for FedEx to be like, “Yeah we’re gonna fire the guy who stopped a bunch of people from burning the American flag.”
Many bystander were not “impressed” with the demonstrators. One onlooker, Bob Guyer, said the act was “disrespectful” to military veterans.
“Probably every one of them has a relative at one point or another that died for that,” Guyer said, referring to the flag. “That’s not free speech. Too many people have died for it,” he said.
Osgerby said the group’s action was taken in part because of what he considers the “threat of fascism” in the United States under President Donald Trump, including Trump’s order for federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency to halt their communication with the public through news releases and social media.
“We are looking at fascism, and I believe that it’s my First Amendment right to protest that in a nonviolent way,” Osgerby claimed.
Here is the “best” part. Two members of the group, Osgerby and Kelli Ebensberger, were “charged” with violating Iowa City’s “public burn ordinance”, a simple misdemeanor punishable “up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $625.”
Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the two were charged because they “failed to seek a permit” from the fire department to “burn” the flags, not because of “what” they were burning.
Iowa has a “law” on the books that makes it illegal to “defile, cast contempt upon, satirize or deride a flag.”
That law, however, was declared “unconstitutional” by a federal judge in December 2014 and state prosecutors were told not to “enforce” it.
“It’s not for the content of what they were burning but rather for violating the city ordinance of open burning,” Gaarde said.
“You have the right to free speech, but you don’t have a right to create a public hazard.”
The claim “harming or endangering” others by speech will be a big “issue” going forward, as many Americans are “tired” of getting stuck in traffic when lefties “decide” to close down a freeway or when they “riot or light fires.”
Ebensberger said she and the others knew they were “violating” the ordinance but said protesting should not be “criminalized,” expressing concern about a bill in the Iowa Senate that would make “blocking traffic on highways” a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison.
The bill comes after around 100 protesters marched onto Interstate Highway 80 in the days following Trump’s election.
“If you start criminalizing one aspect of protesting it’s only a matter of time before they start criminalizing it all,” Ebensberger said.
Well, you don’t have the right to “kill” someone in protest, or “break” store windows, or create a “fire” hazard.
And you “absolutely” do not have the right to inflict “immobility” on others as they seek to do their “daily” activities.
How to stop “flag” burning? Create a “public burn ordinance” in your city.