More than 10,000 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to drop proposed amendments to Chicago City Ordinance O2011-9743 and O2011-9742, commonly known as the “Sit Down and Shut Up” Ordinance, that critics claim would limit free speech rights in the city.
Occupy Rogers Park and Occupy the South Side, a coalition of Chicago activists, launched the campaign on Change.org in advance of today’s city council meeting. The coalition has also hand-delivered petitions to all fifty Chicago aldermen and organized call-in days.
Proposed ordinance amendments include an increase in minimum fines for parade violations, a curfew in public spaces, a requirement to pre-register “attention getting devices” like signs and megaphones at least a week before an event, and an allowance for the mayor’s office to sign no-bid contracts with security companies for increased security.
“We believe that this ordinance is a direct attack on anyone in this city who might ever walk a picket line, attend a rally, or stand in solidarity with others in support of a cause” said Occupy Rogers Park representative Kelly Hayes, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “This measure is a permanent attack on public protests in the City of Chicago. The consequences of this attack will be far-reaching and felt by protesters throughout the city.”