It strikes me that the world the Wise Old Men of Washington and their fetishists imagine, the one where The Right People just get together and decide everything without any real need to worry about what people actually want to see done, isactually here now:
The City Council today approved two controversial ordinances that would increase penalties for protesting and expand Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s authority over city contracts in advance of this spring’s NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago.
The measures cleared the council as protesters demonstrated outside the chambers in City Hall, claiming the ordinances would infringe on their First Amendment rights. One protester, a 22-year-old man, was arrested after allegedly striking a police commander, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety. Charges are pending.
The council voted 45-4 to tighten restrictions on public gatherings. Protesters will now be required to describe the sizes of signs, banners or sound equipment in permit applications for protests and the minimum fine for violating the ordinance will increase from $50 to $200.
Aldermen Will Burns (4th Ward), Robert Fioretti (2nd), Leslie Hairston (5th) and Nicholas Sposato (36th) voted against the ordinance. Ald. Mary O’Connor (41st) was absent.
The second measure, which gives Emanuel greater control over city contracts for the summits, passed 41-5 without debate.
Governing is hard. Better to just kick back and let Those Who Know Best take care of it.