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Criminal conspiracy by Lawrence County Pennsylvania commissioners and New Castle mayor to stand against free speech


Redacciòn El Sol | 9/8/2017, 6:48 p.m.
Criminal conspiracy by Lawrence County Pennsylvania commissioners and New Castle mayor to stand against free speech
Los ciclistas quieren conmemorar a los caidos | Foto Cortesìa

Bikers for Trump, Boots on the Ground and Bikers for America have been working to hold a 9/11 commemorative rally on September 9, 2017 to memorialize the 400+ first responders and the 3000+ American citizens who died in those terrorists attacks. The rally is scheduled to be held in New Castle, PA on September 9, 2017 from 12 to 3 PM.

The Lawrence County Commissioners and the New Castle Mayor have been working to block the permit for the rally for several months. They have also been fast tracking a set of new rules and new permit requirements specifically targeting this rally. The New Castle Mayor refused to sign the permit request until these new rules were passed just three (3) days before the rally was scheduled to take place. Once the new rules were passed by the Commissioners, the Mayor signed the permit request and the Commissioners issued a statement in the local newspaper that rally organizers would be required to file for and receive a second permit under the new rules or be found in violation of the new law.

The new rules require rally organizer to indemnify County officials and employees for harm that they cause arising from threats and actions against rally organizers. (That is not a typo, rally organizers are required, under the new rules, to defend County personnel and hold them blameless when they issue threats and take illegal action against rally organizers). The new rules further state that rally organizers must agree to cover all damages that occur to public property during the rally, even when that damage is caused by criminal actions of people and groups like antifa who are not connected to the rally. Lastly, the rules state that rally organizers are responsible for crowd control which amounts to requiring rally officials to act as police in the event of violent protests. Based on the illegal and unconstitutional requirements issued by the County Commissioners, rally organizers will not apply for the second permit and will instead be filing a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and will seek an injunction against County officials in Federal Court.

New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem stated that the New Castle Police force, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office and an elite tactical law enforcement team will be on hand due to the fact that threats of violence by local, as well as national groups have been issued against rally organizers. Chief Salem stated that their department is currently tracking and monitoring groups that are actively targeting the rally. Rally organizers have discussed the new rules and the private policing requirements with Chief Salem as well as the possibility that his officers will be ordered to stand down by the Mayor and County officials. Chief Salem has stated that if his department is ordered to stand down, they will disobey the order and maintain their posts.

The new rules that were issued by the County Commissioners were additionally discussed with the Lawrence County District Attorney, Josh Lamancuso. He stated that rally organizers would be fools to agree to the provisions in the Commissioner’s new rules. When asked about the possibility that rally organizers would be charged with criminal violations for holding the rally without the second permit, the District Attorney stated that the rules were unconstitutional and he would refuse to prosecute rally organizers despite pressure from county and city officials.