Fourteen Hours of Citizens Lobbying against SB.469!

This is what Democracy looks like.

 

{Arrival, 11am.}

 

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”~Abraham Lincoln

http://occupyatlanta.org/2012/03/29/rally-against-sb469-at-capitol-on-thursday-this-is-it/#.T3eHN_B8Cp0

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A lot of school field trips came through the capitol to take tours. This group had a wonderful teacher that began telling the students of the importance of protesting and how it changes the course of history throughout the ages. They asked us what we were protesting and we got to tell them about SB.469 and how it was an anti-protesting bill. We gave them some of our signs and taught them some chants. They had a lot of fun chanting outside of the capitol with us, dancing and even speaking through one of the megaphones.

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I was actually very lucky that they arrived at the same time as I did because I did not have my ID on me and I got to go through the entrance with them. Hehehe! Although, this means that I could not leave the inside of the building all day because I might not have been able to get back in. >.<!

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This group was very cheerful, upbeat, and full of avid learners. I can’t say that all of the field trip groups were this welcoming to the occupiers, though. A few of them were quick to stop us from talking much to the kids for fear that we may in some way corrupt them or something. Hahaha! I told them to read and fight for their Constitution and left it simply put at that. ;D

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So Cute!

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You don’t say…

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I was very curious and wondered what they would do with these protesting artifacts if SB.469 had passed. Would they have kept them in the building on display? ^_~!

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We were watched and followed very closely throughout the entire day. These officers actually came looking for SoulPatch here, to tell him to take off a sticker he was wearing on his shirt that said “Fxck Free Speech, SB.469“. Someone must have seen it and told the officers to go find him and order him to take it off. SMH

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Oliver Beinlich.

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Leila Abadir.

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We the People.

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I think the people should come out more often to watch our elected officials do their jobs. That way, we can be sure that they are working for us and not trying to sneak shoddy legislation through under our noses. It was definitely more fun than any football game I’ve ever watched(tried to watch).

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Do not eat. Do not drink. Do not use flash photography. Do not laugh. Do not *twinkle* your fingers.

Trust me.

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This is how you begin to feel after an entire day of Citizens Lobbying.

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Peace & Power to the People. w/Tim Franzen.

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This guy down there leaning all the way in his chair walked around the whole day with a stogey hanging out of his mouth. He was one of the “Good ol’ Boys” for sure.

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Governor Nathan Deal walks in to say a few words.

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We were alerted that SB.469 would be sent back to the Rules Committee to be revised at 7pm. Naturally, we rushed down there and made an appearance.

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Sections of the bill were removed and firefighters were added to the persons waived. Everything about protesting was removed and the bill became an attack specifically on unions and collective bargaining.

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Oliver and I after the Rules Committee meeting.

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The news media asked us if we were still going to be against the bill now that all of the protesting parts were stripped from it. As SoulPatch put it, we were still going to stick around in solidarity with the unions. “They were there for us, and we’re going to be there for them.”

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This lady seriously asked us about five times if we were staying and kept repeating the part about protesting being removed from the bill. *_*

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As you can see, the police presence grew since before the Rules Committee Meeting. As there were around one to three officers before… that number grew to fifty within an hour. Twenty five counted inside of the House Gallery behind where the citizens sit and twenty-five right outside of the gallery doors. A number of them inside seemed to be members of SWAT. *_*

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I had to keep leaving the gallery to charge my phone and this officer came over to my nook seeking a quiet space to tell his lady on the other line that it would be a long night due to the large presence of protesters in the building. Haha!

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I began to notice many of the officers having the super duper zip-ties on them and saw a few of them walking around with them in their hands at the ready. Personally, this makes one feel like an animal ready to be hog-tied at the hint of any insubordination. 

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This particular group of people were making fun of our occupy hand signals. I realize it may be alien to some members of society, but it’s moments like these that I wish they would come out to one of our general assemblies and see that we mic check to be heard in large groups and we utilize hand signals as not to disrupt any speakers with the sound of clapping in approval or booing in dismay. Simply put. It’s not a cult thing to try new and highly effective approaches to enhance productivity and understanding in our democracy. ^_~!

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Just the act of taking this picture got me even more careful attention throughout the night. “What’s she up to???” seemed to be the theme of expression in my favor. hehehe

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A group meeting was called outside of the gallery and the officers were on their toes pursuing us to see what we were up to.

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A random cameraman manifested himself out of thin air as well, to catch us being up to something. Ha!

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All of a sudden, there were protesters seen below linking arms against the abortion bill, HB.954!

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“Senate Democratic women for the second time this session walked out after HB 954 passed their chamber. Sporting yellow police tape, they marched into the hallways and, joined with other HB 954 opponents, shouted “we will remember!” loud enough to be heard through closed doors. “The GOP war on women is alive and well in Georgia,” said Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta. Within the hour, the bill passed the House on a 106-59 vote. Democrats turned their backs on McKillip in protest.”

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/georgia-lawmakers-pass-abortion-1401963.html

 

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Many Occupy Atlanta protesters followed suit and turned their backs as the bill was voted on.

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Down to the wire as we leaned in our seats and officials stood on the floor, the anticipation saturated down to the bottom of the hour. It was like a new years countdown… 

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Eventually, the bill ran out of time and was killed by the stroke of midnight!!!!!

It was such an amazing and intense experience. Waiting all day and counting down every minute. It felt like an occupy field trip. Haha!

Here is an even more awesome account of this day. 😀 Great pictures, too!!!!!

http://nexusofchange.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/diverse-coalition-defeats-bill-against-1st-amendment-rights/

 

Another link on the story.

http://radishreport.com/2012/03/30/broad-coalition-of-activists-save-free-speech-and-workers-rights-in-georgia/

 

Another on the unlikely alliance between various groups. (Including the Tea Party!)

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/groups-across-political-spectrum-fight-anti-picket/nLgMj/

 

And last but not least, another link, but a great one!

http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2012/03/29/protesters-protest-protest-bill-and-an-unlikely-coalition-is-built

 

     Never in my life did I think for one moment that I would be at the Georgia State Capitol putting pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing. Citizens lobbying wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I even remember coming to the Gold Dome once for a field trip when I was really young and we weren’t allowed to walk under the dome part because the gold was flaking off and falling down from the ceiling. It was an enlightening experience with so many of the most beautiful and compassionate people I have ever met. I will never forget the day that the people began to truly embrace their power and use it effectively in the political process. We occupy various techniques to change the world for the better and make a difference and I’m glad I got to partake in the experience of killing an unconstitutional bill.

 

LONG LIVE FREE SPEECH!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!

 

You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” ~Abraham Lincoln

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Fourteen Hours of Citizens Lobbying against SB.469!

  1. Your comment about the zip ties describes exactly the discomforting feeling I couldn’t shake off when I was in the back of the gallery surrounded by cops:
    “Personally, this makes one feel like an animal ready to be hog-tied at the hint of any insubordination”

      1. I have the greatest difficulty standing idle when injustice happens in front of my very eyes.While the Assembly was allowed to loudly applaud the passage of an anti-abortion bill, later, when Occupy Atlanta activists silently twinkled their fingers in the air to express support for an honest politician speaking at the time, an hostile policeman told them that they were about to be thrown out. I told the policement that Occupy Atlanta was simply expressing support for a member of the Assembly. The cop them started screaming at me saying that he was tired of explaining to me that I was not the one running the show and that they were the ones in charge. And on and on…

      2. Yeah! That was crazy! Dee was sitting next to me and he got yelled at for twinkling down and then a few minutes later he was laughing about something and a lady came up a rudely snapped her fingers in his face and yelled at him that the house was in session… even though everyone in the room was talking. They were very rude and quick to jump our shit.

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