There has been a peace vigil in Mariposa every Wed. for 400 weeks. Yes, four hundred weeks. The Vigil is held on Wednesdays, 5:30 pm, for 30 minutes, at the corner of 140 and 5th street - in front of what is now the Gold Coin Restaurant. They do not block the sidewalk, yell, or threaten; it's a peaceful vigil.
Last Wed., the ten people assembled were told that the owner of the Gold Coin restaurant wanted them to leave. They refused, of course, as they were on public property. The owner came out, was angry, hostile, and ended the discussion with the threat to turn hoses on the vigil the following week. The vigil organizers have been trying to meet with Sheriff Binneweiss re the issue, but has not yet been successful although looks like the sheriff will be contacting them today. The owner's position is that she has customers who have family members in Afghanistan, and she doesn't want them upset by - a Peace Vigil. Of course, it's fairly ironic that she's trying to shut down one of the freedoms that the military is fighting to provide in Afghanistan.... And the fact that the Peace Vigil wants those family members brought home, not left in Afghanistan where they can be killed. At any rate, agree or disagree on the wars, the first amendment protects the right to peaceful assembly and we need to defend it.
Democrats, Independents, Greens and anyone who believes in protecting our constitutional rights - we need you this next Wednesday (the 17th) to join the Peace Vigil. Plan to be peaceful and nonconfrontational, but show up at 5:30 for 30 min. If we overflow the space in front of the Gold Coin, we will go to other corners.
Below are rules of engagement. I look forward to seeing you all there! And we need to continue showing up every Wed. until the intimidation stops.
For those who have not previously attended our Mariposa Peace Vigils, please include the following Guidelines:
a) Please do not block pedestrian traffic or access to any business or building.
b) Please do not block the stairway at 5th Street or the stairway hand-rail.
c) Stay on the sidewalk. Do not stand on Highway 140 or on the road on 5th Street. There is a lot of vehicle traffic at that hour.
d) Avoid verbal shouting matches with those who have a different iewpoint. They have their rights also. We are there in Peace.
e) To avoid interference with pedestrian foot traffic, we stand on the sidewalk, single file,closest to the highway side.
f) Bring signs and flags if you have them. The Mariposa Peace Vigil will share any that they have.
g) If law enforcement orders you to leave, you have a choice: refuse the order and face possible arrest, or obey the order.
Information on how to respond in this situation will be provided at the Peace Vigil.
h) The first amendment to the U.S.Constitution guarantees our right to "peaceably assemble". We welcome you to join with us every Wednesday, rain or shine, 5:30pm, corner of Highway 140 and 5th Street.