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Davis Vetoes "Just Dissent" bill!

by Kim Whitmyre Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2002 at 1:33 AM

Governor Davis vetoed the Just Dissent legislation.

Here is the info I got in an email earlier today:

To All Who Supported SB 1796 (the Political Expression Protection Act which

we have referred to as "Just Dissent.")

I've just received word that Gov. Davis has seen fit to veto the bill we have

all lobbied hard for, and which both houses of the California Legislature

passed. I have received no explanation for his veto. I am very saddened by

the Governor's decision.

I want to express my deepest thanks to:

-- Patricia Nell Warren, whose constant vigil and ongoing concern for

protecting dissent generated this idea;

-- Maria Armoudiana and Senator Richard Polanco who brilliantly guided it

through the California Legislature;

-- Attorneys Steve Rohde, Len Chaitin and David Fertig, who helped Sen.

Polanco's staff craft the legislation, and who have spoken out widely and

assisted in garnering organizational support for the legislation;

-- David Ryer, the designer extraordinaire and political marketing expert who

created the name "Just Dissent" as well as created and managed our wonderful


-- Dustin Blake, on S.F. Mayor Willie Brown's staff, who got the Mayor to

proclaim Sept. 26th "Just Dissent" Day in California;

-- Julie Webster who passed out flyers at many gatherings and helped us

generate thousands of messages to the Legislature and the Governor;

-- The staff and announcers at KPFK who have been very supportive of our

efforts to protect dissent and given us considerable air time;

-- and to the many of you who helped spread the word in countless ways.

This was NOT a defeat. We had NO money and NO official organization, yet we

got approval from both houses of the California legislature, support from

dozens of religious, labor, civil rights, and legal groups. We got thousands

of individuals across the state to notice the erosions of and encroachments

upon our liberties. And we have only been stopped by a Governor whose

priorities seem to lie somewhere other than protecting peaceful protest and

dissent. We will attempt to find out why this Democratic Governor vetoed

this important legislation. We will consider finding a way to bring up

similar measure in the next California legislature. And we will leave our

website up and refer people in other states to it, along with our advice on

how to organize campaigns in other states.

A final note: the day before Gov. Davis votoed this bill, a number of people

(including a friend of a friend of mine...and Colin Powell's photographer)

were arrested in Washington D.C. and detained in a crowed jail, shackled

wrist to ankle in handcuffs for 8+ hours for simply riding bicycles near a

peaceful protest against the war.

Thanks again.

Lance Webster (213) 680-7805 www.lancecoach.com


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