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Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Activists taking part in the Victoria's Dirty Little Secret campaign were denied entrance to the Capitola Mall on Saturday. The U.S. Supreme Court's Pruneyard Decision in 1980 guarantees the right to free speech in privately-owned public areas such as shopping malls.
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Activists taking part in the Victoria's Dirty Secret campaign were denied entrance to the Capitola Mall on Saturday. The U.S. Supreme Court's Pruneyard Decision in 1980 guarantees the right to free speech in privately-owned public areas such as shopping malls.

The mall security and two capitola cops denied the activists entry to the mall. The manager of security said the protesters needed a permit to even stand at the entrance to the mall. The protesters retreated to the streetside sidewalk in front of the mall.

This is directly opposed to a 1980 Supreme Court decision based on a very similar conflict that happened not far from here. The Pruneyard Shopping Center in Campbell.

In short, Capitola police and security guards violated your constitutional rights. From wikipedia:

The PruneYard's role in American constitutional law

In the late 1970s, the PruneYard was involved in a free speech dispute with some local high school students that ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court. See Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 (1980). In American constitutional law, the PruneYard is famous for its role in establishing two important rules:

* under the California Constitution, individuals may peacefully exercise their right to free speech in parts of private shopping centers regularly held open to the public, subject to reasonable regulations adopted by the shopping centers
* under the U.S. Constitution, states can provide their citizens with broader rights in their constitutions than under the federal Constitution, so long as those rights do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights

Because of the Pruneyard case, people who visit shopping centers in California may regularly encounter people seeking money or attention for various causes, including charitable solicitations, qualifying petitions for amendments to the state constitution, voter registration drives, and sometimes a beggar. In turn, many shopping centers have posted signs to explain that they do not endorse the views of people exercising their right to free speech, and that if patrons do not give them money, the speakers will go away.

In the two decades since, the California Supreme Court has become much more conservative, especially after three liberal justices (including Chief Justice Rose Bird) were removed by the electorate in 1986 for their opposition to the death penalty.

=In 2001, a 4-3 majority of the Court significantly narrowed Pruneyard by holding for a variety of reasons that California's free speech right does not apply to private apartment complexes — yet, they also refused to overrule Pruneyard. Golden Gateway Ctr. v. Golden Gateway Tenants Ass'n, 26 Cal. 4th 1013 (2001). Thus, California's right of free speech in private shopping centers still survives.


Next time when we are in the Capilola mall protesting, educating, and informing the public about an issue and the Capitola cops or Capitola Mall guards ask us to leave, we will politely refuse, cite Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins 447 U.S. 74 (1980), and have print-outs of the Pruneyard decision for them.

More info about Pruneyard:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruneyard_Shopping_Center
www.communityrights.org/legalresources/otherkeysupremecourtopinions/Pruneyard.asp
caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl

More info about the Victoria's Secret demo:

www.victoriasdirtysecret.net/
forestethics.org/article.php

Rico
 
 


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Comments

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

You only care what the Supreme Court says, when they tell you what you want to hear. If they declared abortion and gay marriage illegal, you wouldn't recognize their opinion as having any authority. So how does their opinion have any authority here?

The Capitola Mall is private property.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

The knucklehead Anonymous Poster declares, "You only care what the Supreme Court says, when they tell you what you want to hear. If they declared abortion and gay marriage illegal, you wouldn't recognize their opinion as having any authority."

The difference is that the police would listen if the Supreme Court declared abortion illegal, but First Amendment free speech rights are laws that the police routinely choose to violate. It has been ruled that malls, even privately owned malls, are public spaces where constitutional rights to free speech do apply.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

yes, and for a period in our history the court ruled slavery to be a constitutionaly protected right. The supreme court made a bad decision. It is interesting to note this prunetree case is one of the reasons we have bumbs sticking out thier filthfy palms out every time we go shopping.

How would steve feel about the minutemen or mecha types coming down to the mall to have their little racist protest?

Once private property rights are eliminated the rest will will follow.
 

"It Has Been Ruled"

And what makes a Supreme Court ruling so special? 9 crusty old conservatives from the middle of the last century, pretending they have some Divine Right of Kings to decide for the rest of us what is right and wrong, as if they were God Herself!

Incidentally Steve, grow up. I never insulted you, either explicitly or implicitly. "The knucklehead"? You need to grow some manners. You've run for office and this is how you enter into public discourse? No wonder you could never win a race, even in this town.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

"we have bumbs sticking out thier filthfy palms out every time we go shopping."

I've never once been asked for change at the Capitola Mall. I've never even seen a beggar there, neither outside nor in. In fact I rarely ever see any charity workers or political activists there.

What are you talking about?

Just because you don't like the ruling, don't go hallucinating fallout just so you can complain about it. The Capitola Mall remains a nice, quiet place despite the Pruneyard decision.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

its more evident at the westridge and northridge malls down here in salinas than the capitola mall which has better security.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

"2. State constitutional provisions, as construed to permit individuals reasonably to exercise free speech and petition rights on the property of a privately owned shopping center to which the public is invited, do not violate the shopping center owner's property rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments or his free speech rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 88."

...Considering...I'm sure the police and/or owners of the mall can think up something - in addition the times they have changed, and the popularity of this law may mean it is unlikely to be enforced anyway.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

“Knucklehead? for someone that has problems with free speech, gay rights, and abortion rights. Steve is right, you are a knucklehead, and I'd vote for Steve again.

And what illiterate troll said: "bumbs sticking out thier filthfy palms out every time we go shopping." Care to add a name to your hate speech?
 

Want to ask some hard questions?

Capitola Police
Chief of Police
Richard J Ehle
422 Capitola Ave
Capitola, California 95010
(831)475-4242

Greg Jeffries
Security/Guest Services Manager
Oversees the Security and Guest Services Department.
(831) 476-9616 Phone
(831) 476-9760 Fax
Greg.Jeffries (at) Macerich.com
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Isn't free speech supposed to be one of those unifying patriotic founding-father type issues? It always confuses me when it is seen as partisan.

For instance, if I'm a conservative does free speech bother me when it applies to protesters and dissenters, to people who's free speech is anathema to my ears? It shouldn't. If I'm progressive, should the free speech of anti-abortion, pro-W, pro-war voices make me call for squashing those voices? It certainly should not.

So what gives? I'm always surprised at the vitriol, particularly from the right, whenever anyone dares raise voices of dissent.

And whether I agree or disagree with the supreme court, that isn't supposed to be a luxury that police departments have. The law may not always be fair, but when it protects our rights, we're going to try and hold them to it.

And you are right, knucklehead might not be the right word. Ignorant kneejerk reactionary dumbass, might have been more what was intended.
 

An interview with Captain Todd Mayer, Patrol Supervisor, Capitola Police

An interview with Captain Todd Mayer, Patrol Supervisor, Capitola Police

What is your version of events at Saturday’s protest at the Capitola Mall?

My understanding, is that 5 people wanted to do a demonstration or protest. The owner or agent of the mall, presented an application to 1 of 5 people to come on to property. The mall agent wanted the opportunity to check out their fliers, see that they were bonded, etc.

Were the protesters allowed entry into the Mall?

They could come into the mall, but they opted not to.

What did officers say to the protesters?

I haven’t seen the after-action report. My understanding was that the Mall owner or their agent, required the protesters to file a time manner and usage application. The police were there just to keep the peace.

Did anyone from the police or in mall security say that protesters were required to have a permit?

Owner (Maerich company) has standard application. This is the nationally-accepted procedure. They do follow the application process. As much as possible, the mall will try to accommodate people. They provide tables, a stapler, chairs, and so on.

Are you familiar with the Supreme Court Pruneyard Decision?

Yes, but you also have to look at other case law.

• Lloyd Corporation v Tanner (1972),

• Pruneyard v. Robbins (1980),

• H-CHH Associates v. Citizens for Representative Government (1987) - Restricting time, location, and type of activity

• Savage v. Trammell Crow (1990) – may prohibit or limits some types of activities, including demos and performances

• Westside Sane/Freeze v. Earnest W. Hahn Inc. (1990)

• Union of Needles Trade, Industrial, and Textile Employees, AFL-CIO v. Superior Court (1997) – confirm that shopping centers could require individuals and orgs to reapply and otherwise comply with rules requiring insurance, identity of participants, identification of activities, and prior submission of signs, leaflets, etc.

• Glendale Associates 31-CA22759 (2001) – National labor relations board determined that individuals and orgs needed to file an application before engaging in activities in private property

What if the protesters return?

If protesters are in violation of application process, owners or their agents could call police to the mall. Typically, police negotiate with protesters. If protesters are in violation of the application process, it is up to mall owners to make citizen’s arrest. We will act on that. At that point, we would tell the protesters that if they are charged again, it could be a misdemeanor, and could be 1 year in jail and/or $1000 fine. Often the owner opts to file a “stay away? order which means that the individuals would no be able to go on the property or in the parking lot. That would be:

602.1(a) Cal Penal code – criminal trespassing

Anything additional to add?

We enforce the law. We are in the middle between free speech issues and private property issues. And often the pressure comes down on us. We won’t violate anyone's rights. We won’t over-react. It is a good process. In these times, it is important that everyone’s voice be heard.
 

Correction to Captain Mayer's Citings

If anything, the cases cited in Captain Mayer's interview are supportive of free speech in malls. None alter the substantively the Pruneyard Decision.

If the Captiola Mall application process creates an unreasonable barrier to free speech, they may be open to litigation.

H-CHH Associates v. Citizens for Representative Government, the court ruled that malls requiring groups seeking to use their space for public free speech activities to purchase expensive insurance first, created an unlawful barrier against free expression and required a checklist of conditions that must be met before malls can impose such a requirement.

Westside Sane/Freeze v. Earnest W. Hahn Inc. (1990), the court ruled that the Pruneyard Decision is not limited to activity connected with enrollment of signatures on petitions, and rejected claims that allowing leafletting and expression unconnected with signature gathering accomplishes an unconstitutional taking of their property.

Savage v. Trammell Crow (1990), The owner of a shopping center may impose reasonable limits on the time, place and manner of such activity. the owner or operator of a shopping center may not draw distinctions between "political" and "religious" speech. Thus, the defendants' written prohibition against nonpolitical expression gave rise to a cause of action against them.

Union of Needle Trade, Industrial, and Textile Employees, AFL-CIO v. Superior Court (1997), Could not be found.

Glendale Associates 31-CA-22759 (2001) – decision by the National labor relations board that malls cannot maintain and enforce a rule prohibiting handbillers from identifying by name any tenant or company in the mall. However, the mall may maintain a rule that requires handbillers furnish in advance the names of all prospective handbillers.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

"So what gives? I'm always surprised at the vitriol, particularly from the right, whenever anyone dares raise voices of dissent."

Try listening from the right sometime. You'll be just as surprised at the rabid outrage expressed whenever anyone dares raise a voice of dissent with the left who are adept at screaming like banshees.

There is a vocal minority on both sides which only pays lip service to the principle of free speech, yet only demonstrates a terrifying eagerness to silence all dissenting views.

This is why the web is full of left-only forums, and right-only forums, and rarely does either side stop and just talk to the other.

This is also why voter turnout numbers are so embarrassingly low in America, because the two dominant vocal minorities won't stop frothing at the mouth towards each other. The silent majority wants nothing to do with either Left or Right.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Rico you have the right to express your veiws on the sidewalk which is PUBLIC property. Capitola Mall is PRIVATE land, so its only right ANY group seeks permission from the owners. If that permission is declined, tough cookies go to the sidewalk.

peace
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

chicano831, I understand what you are saying. I understand that no one wants to feel helpless to control what they own. However, malls have replaced main street in this country. In many communities, the mall is the only social and economic center of the community.

If you silence free expression here in the name of property rights, you lose what is a cornerstone to American ideals, freedom and diversity of ideas.

The supreme court in 1980 agreed with these points as well.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Steve argue,

If it's freedom of speech, then would it be ok for the Capitola cops you use foul language toward you or the crowd?? are they not protected by free speech?
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

"If it's freedom of speech, then would it be ok for the Capitola cops you use foul language toward you or the crowd?? are they not protected by free speech?"

Not when in uniform and/or on duty - There is a very lengthy code of conduct that governs what a uniformed government employee in the law enforcement arena is allowed to say.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

While steve is corrent in his claim that "
lengthy code of conduct that governs what a uniformed government employee in the law enforcement arena is allowed to say." mall cops usually do not work for the government, they are employees of the mall. Depending on the mall that employee's training level will very from next to nothing to a lot. They are not allowed to call u names mainly because its unprofessional and may escalate a use of force situation.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Capitola Mall is private property. Just like your front yard. If the owner doesn't want you there, he/she can tell you to leave, otherwise the police are called and they can be forced to use the law at the owner's demand.

Before making quick judgements on rights being violated, ask an attorney before you embarrass yourself in a public forum. As for a lawsuit, you have to actually 'suffer' some type of damage.

As for cops calling you names. Did that happen on this occasion? If so, they are not supposed to because that is just down right wrong. Sure cops have freedom of speech, but they opt to lose that right to freedom to fairly represent the law and it's people.


* Protestor (Victoria Secret abuses paper waste)
* Mall owner (Pick up a pen and fill out the application & we'll help you).
* Police (Stuck in the middle and once again getting an un-fair headline).

Hindsight. Next time contact the person who owns the front yard ahead of time before carrying chainsaws with large signs. I'm sure they will help you out.


Sincerely,
Not left or Right.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

re:"not left or right. both scare me."
NO. The police were not in the middle. The police, as has been the case many times in Capitola have been the agressorts, and have broken the law. This time, I think YOU have stuck your neck out a bit too far and fucked with the wrong people.

The Police of Capitola have broken the law by working as private security of the Capitola Mall while being paid by the taxpayers. they were not called to respond to a situation: they were waiting in ambush like a hired posse. I trust my friends who were there recorded enough of the incident to make a legal case against the agressors.

I know exactly what I am talking about, have ready access to legal council and will not tolerate any sort of harrassment by the new SELF-APPOINTED gestapo. I sincerely hope you are reading every word of this too, Mr. Monitor.

Your lame attempt at playing "good cop" while ignoring the facts in the articles published here is a failure.

David Roknich


DOGSPOT

 

Capitola Police vs people of Capitola

Sounds to me like the people of Capitola need to take a look at what Captain Mayer does on a daily basis, and then try to square it up with what he claims to do, and what he is supposed to do. The people of Capitola are predominantly very liberal, and they have abdicated police authority to a bunch of thinly veiled crypto Nazis: by "crypto- Nazi" I mean someone who has been educated to maintain a decent facade for his contacts in everyday society while sending out the right "codewords" to his idealogical fellows: thus become an effective tool to infiltrate and undermine liberal democratic society.

Welcome to the "New American Centurions"

-roknich
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Capitola Mall owners, the Macerich Management Company, have been sued as recently as August 27, 2005 for unlawfully restricting free expression. For the most part, they were found to be unlawfully restricting free speech.

www.nlrb.gov/nlrb/shared_files/decisions/345/345-34.htm

"Applying California law, we find for the reasons discussed below that the Respondents violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by unlawfully restricting the content of picket signs, handbills, and other written materials. Thus, we agree with the judge that Respondent Macerich Management Company (MMC) unlawfully threatened union handbillers with arrest at Arden Fair Mall on December 16, 1999. Contrary to the judge, however, we find that Respondents’ ban on the carrying or wearing of signs, their requirement that all expressive activities occur in “designated areas,? and their ban on all expressive activity during peak traffic times are reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that do not violate the Act. Also, contrary to the judge, we find that Respondent Macerich Property Management Company (MPMC) unlawfully threatened union picketers with arrest at Capitola Mall on March 7, 2000, and had union picketers unlawfully arrested on March 21 and May 3, 2000."

I'm kind of surprised at the thickheadedness in this forum. People keep repeating that a mall is private property and that a mall can place any restriction they want on free speech.

Actually, if you think this, I'm afraid you are wrong.

A mall is considered public space (privately owned or not) and so the rights that apply to people in publically-owned spaces (such as a street) apply to people in malls.

There are some limits, such as time, place, and manner restrictions, but in general, you have the right to free speech, even in the mall.
 

FYI: 'Chicano 831' ain't Chicano

Chicano 831 : "How would steve feel about the minutemen or mecha types coming down to the mall to have their little racist protest?"
 

MEChA is not a racist organization

The self admitted agent of the FBI misnamed “Chicano 831? asks, "How would steve [sic] feel about the minutemen or mecha [sic] types coming down to the mall to have their little racist protest?"

First off, MEChA is not a racist organization. Here is a link to one of their Web sites:

www.azteca.net/aztec/mecha/index.shtml

I would fully support MEChA’s right to protest at the Capitola Mall.

The Minutemen on the other hand are a violently racist organization. As such the police defend their protests and brutalize anti-racist counter-protesters instead. With Schwarzenegger's endorsement, these Minutemen are a fascist paramilitary arm of the racist policies of the U.S. government. As such they do not need my help, and I wouldn't give it.

The Pruneyard decision defends the right of the people to use our constitutional free speech rights at malls. In league with a long history of political repression carried out in the United States by the FBI, the self admitted agent of the FBI misnamed “Chicano 831? opposes these rights. As usual the U.S. government is trying to push the envelope in denying free speech rights and it is the left that is pushing back.
 

Correction

I just reread what I had previously glanced over. “Chicano 831? does not directly admit to working for the FBI but does admit to infiltrating an organization.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

Steve, I don't see where "chicano831" claims to have infilitrated any groups... can you repost that part?
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

"Chicano831" stated, "I helped infiltrate SOS." He further stated, "This one is a work in progress since SOS is still around."

santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/18922/index.php

As for his accusations of dope, I don't touch the stuff.
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

SOS? Save Our State? Is that the SOS he infiltrated?

I'm not aligned with most of what 'chicano831' spews forth on this site, but if that is the SOS he infiltrated in order to disrupt, then I say, 'good work.'

From the SOS about us page: members are committed to educating California's citizens about the disastrous effects of illegal immigration...

It goes on and on, and gets far worse. You can read about SOS and their racism at saveourstate dot org

So Chicano831, set the record straight, *why* did you infiltrate SOS?
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

You got it right independent thinker. I did it to disrupt them. Save Our State, has and had, members from aryan groups. officially a lot of these members got thrown out because they possed a PR problem to SOS.

Several people have gone the sos site to cause a disruption, they usually met with kicks or limited access restricted to the dissenters thread.
The is also a smaller segment, of which I was a party to that have posed as white men which SOS refers to as race baiters. If noticed on the site some members are extremely racist, did you believe they were all in reality white. :)

I've had membership since before Baldwin park. When Sos tried to sneak that one over, we were emailing and posting anyone who would listen S.W.A.R.M, Mecha, political activists, and a host of others. It was kind of strange chicano members that normally were attacking each other because of political differences were actually working together.

chicano831


p.s. just in case oldpreach is out there lurking. KISS MY A$$
 

Re: Capitola Police Violate Protester's Freedom of Speech Saturday

So “Chicano 831? is responsible for some of the racist statements on their site. Great work.
 

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