Sunday, June 09, 2013

Couple arrested for handing out `End the Fed' fliers

On May 18, activist Mark Passio and his wife, Barb Marinelli, were arrested and handcuffed for distributing "End the Fed" literature near Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Penn. by federal park rangers. The shocking incident was caught on video.

According to Passio's description of events, "I was walking with my wife Barb in Philadelphia from Market Street to Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets, and handed out a few fliers about how the Federal Reserve Bank is de-valuing our nation's currency to people standing in the line at the Liberty Bell location - something I have done almost 20 times in the past. I briefly spoke to a couple of them who asked me for more information."

But then they were stopped by park rangers: "We then proceeded to continue to walk to Chestnut Street when we were stopped by two Park Police who said that I could not hand out fliers without a permit (I had already finished handing them out actually; I had a few left in my hand, and was in the process of leaving the area). They began citing some obscure federal regulation that I had never heard of."

After explaining his rights to the ranger to hand out literature protected by the First Amendment, Passio explained, "I then proceeded to attempt to walk away toward Fifth Street on Chestnut Street, when these Park Police told me that I was not free to walk away from them, even though I had long since finished handing anyone any fliers and had done absolutely nothing to harm anyone or violate anyone else's rights."

Now, to the law, First Amendment jurisprudence does allow government rules to allot certain time and place restrictions for where public assemblies, leafleting and the like may take place.

Further, federal regulations require that public parks allot certain areas for use of public assembly, demonstrations, leafleting, etc.: "Demonstrations are allowed within park areas designated as available" by the park superintendent "on a map, which must be available in the office of the superintendent and by public notice under 1.7 of this chapter, the locations designated as available for demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter."

Per the regulation, the park superintendent does indeed provide such a map, and sure enough, it turns out Passio and his wife were actually within one of the designated areas where assembly and distribution of materials was permitted according to Independence Hall's 2013 compendium: "The following park areas are designated as areas for public assemblies [include the] first block of Independence Mall: bounded north by Market St., east by 5th St., and south by Chestnut St. and west by 6th St."

Exactly where Passio writes he was walking.



Anonymous said...

This is a great story for all those fools who actually believe America is still a free country.

Anonymous said...

Consitutional rights are only theoretical rights, that are easily undermined or made worthless by petty bureaucratic rules and regulations, especially when it's a deliberate policy by the powerful and corrupt.

Anonymous said...

The fourth reich is here.

Anonymous said...

This couples' story has changed as time has gone by. At first they said they had all of their flyers stolen. Now they claim they were almost done and only had a few flyers left. The guy also claimed the park police stole money from him. There is a video of his being detained so the park police can issue a citation. He is not in the area he says he was handing out the flyers or in a "free speech" zone.

In short, the guy, his wife and others tried to make this a free speech incident and it has worked.

He has demonstrated he is free to lie.

Anonymous said...

I have some concerns about free speech areas (and times).
While reasonable limits can be permissible there must be an overriding interest.
It is not enough to simply say we want to limit your right to this place and time.

Anonymous said...

Funny how OWS can set up their squatter camps anywhere they like and no one sys a word but hen you do something that is unpopular with the current marxist THEN you don't have the freedom others do.

I guess SOME are more free than others. Like in the third rich, if you were a "friend" of the rich you had more freedom than the "undesirables!"

When handing out constitutional info always keep some marxists material handy to show the brown shirts, if they see your a leftists they will let you go!