Against this backdrop, fed-up citizens chose the Golden Gate—reportedly a prime target of foreign terrorists—as the site to peacefully demonstrate last Saturday, October 13, demanding our immigration laws be enforced and open borders be secured. The Permit issued for this event was subject to revocation ”in the event that the national security level rises above yellow,” i.e., if foreign terrorists here due to unenforced immigration laws posed a greater threat.
Organized by North Bay Minutemen with support from Castro Valley, East Bay and Golden Gate Minutemen; Save Our State, Minutemen Civil Defense Corps-Northern California and other groups, marchers met on the Bridge’s Marin County (north) side to avoid problems on San Francisco Sanctuary City soil at the south end. For two hours, we traversed the bridge dressed in red, white, and blue, our signs held high for oncoming traffic: ”Enforce Immigration Laws,” Close the Borders,” ”Boycott Sanctuary Cities,” ”No Shamnesty,” ”No NAU/SPP.” Countless drivers honked horns in support, passengers flashing smiles and thumbs up. A woman sharing the bridge walkway with us said, ”Thank You” to each and every marcher. Curious foreign tourists snapped photos of our all-American protest.[See photos here.]
Yes indeedy, We the People still can exercise our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech or of the press, peaceable assembly and to petition our public servants—”the Government”—for redress of grievances. Or can we?
The required Permit (hmmmm) for this peaceable assembly issued by controlling authority Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District (a public entity under State law) included 16 "Special Conditions" many that expressly violated our First Amendment rights.
First, we were commanded to arrive in the Bridge’s east public parking lot ”no earlier than 9:30 am”, to enter the bridge ”no earlier from 10 am” and to exit ”by 12:00 pm.”
Maximum sign size was 24”x36”, with no more than 50 signs and painstakingly defined ”props” permitted, regardless of the number of participants.
We the Sheeple did have the Bridge District's permission to ”pin pictures on our clothing.”
The Permit prohibited press conferences on the Bridge, asserting that, ”This of course is not meant to limit press coverage or interviews....”
”If a press release is to be issued regarding this event, please coordinate with [the District’s] Public Affairs Director,” giving the District oversight and, potentially, the right to demand we censor our messages to the media, or lose the Permit.
By far the most offensive, clearly illegal condition of the Permit banned us from displaying American flags. ”Flags or banners of any kind or size are not permitted.” So the Golden Gate Bridge District, a governmental entity operating under our Constitution and Bill of Rights, denies its employees—We the People—the right to display our nation’s flag in any way, shape, or form. Think about it.
The Golden Gate Bridge, completed in 1937, reflects Americans’ willingness to face great odds and prevail. It was the final glimpse of America many WWII GIs had before they made the ultimate sacrifice for America in horrific Pacific battles.
This majestic span measures 1.7 miles. Given the shameless quashing of our uniquely American, God-given rights—now under assault by petty, power-hungry bureaucrats coast to coast—the road to regain our liberty will be far longer. ——— Terry Graham is not a member of any of the groups that coordinated this event. She participated as a private citizen, and her comments do not express the opinions of any of these groups.