Cooke County Attempting to Rob Protesters of First Amendment Rights

Cooke County Attempting to Rob Protesters of First Amendment Rights

This blatant attempt by Cooke County judge and commissioners is an obscene violation of the constitution.

Earlier today someone asked me what happened since the last article I posted about the situation in Gainesville. 

On September 3, 2020 PRO Gainesville organizers turned themselves in about 7:30am. You can see the video of them coming and going on Jessica Luther Rummel’s live feed. You can see all of her live feeds from Gainesville here.

Over a dozen protesters joined them at the jail and stayed there until they were released.

The Judge to arraign them, Judge Henry, set each one of their bond amounts at $2,500. Even though the maximum penalty they are facing is $2,000. 

Funny thing about Judge Henry, on his Facebook page he likes many far right and even some extremists pages. He only has 40 friends (sad, I know), but a few of his friends have been openly talking about PRO Gainesville on their own pages and a few more are openly racist. The arraignment judge definitely could not be considered an impartial justice official.

The Judge’s likes and friends were visible and were being discussed on Jessica’s live video. Looks like he got wind of it, because he’s changed his privacy settings. But not before activists got screenshots. 😂

Their attorney bonded them out by 11am.

Then protesters headed over to the Cooke County courthouse to protest again.

They were planning to protest again this Sunday. However about 6:30 this evening, Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley posted this on his Facebook page.

On Friday, September 4, 2020, Commissioners Court adopted a policy regarding placing signs, symbols, structures, contrivances or devices on county property.  Effective immediately:

“A person or persons may not cause or authorize any signs, symbols, structures, contrivances or devices to be placed, installed, affixed or maintained on or over county property including the placement or installation of any signs, structures, contrivances, devices used for commercial or noncommercial purposes, except for items approved by the Commissioners Court.”

This includes banners, flags, or posters made out of paper, plastic, cardboard, or plywood.

In other words they are telling protesters they can’t have or use any signs, flags, or otherwise whole protesting the Confederate monument in front of Cooke County courthouse.

This is a violation of protester’s first amendment rights. Period. End stop. The ACLU has already been called.

Oh it doesn’t stop there. They say that any signs will be removed by county officials.

I’m asking everyone that plans on being out there this coming Sunday, do not forget to record. Because when county officials come and take signs or flags out of the hands of peaceful protesters and confiscate then. We want to make sure this is caught on video. Cooke Country will be elbows deep in lawsuits by Halloween.

If you live in Gainesville or nearby, please come join PRO Gainesville on Sunday September 6th, when they will continue to march for the removal of the Confederate statue. Always, remember to use the hashtag #IStandWithProGainesville

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