Arkansas City Council Outlaws Public Meetings, Other Councils

  soviet lite

angry citizens may step forward and be eaten in turnThe City Council in Gould, Arkansas is going the “miniature Kremlin” route so favored these days for coping with public criticism and decided to make it “illegal to form any kind of group without its permission,” because it’s not like the First Amendment is in the Bible, calm down. 4-H, church, baking club, Little League, poker night and swingers’ meetup are all cancelled so that no one may plot against the Council. This is all apparently in response to a citizens advocacy group that the Council did not like for harshing on the Council all the time, much like the martial law imposed in Quartzite, Arizona last week as a result of the Council’s displeasure with its citizens’ complaints. Did anyone at least bother to do this right and set up a miniature Gulag for dissenting citizens as well?

From the NYT:

Last week, the Council overrode the mayor’s veto of two other controversial measures. One required that the citizens advisory council cease to exist. The other made it illegal for the mayor to meet with “any organization in any location” either “inside or outside Gould city limits” without the Council’s permission.

The advisory council, which calls itself a nonpartisan group that educates voters and raises money for public causes, says it will continue its work. But the City Council, in one ordinance, accused the group of “causing confusion and discourse among the citizens” by harshly criticizing local officials at public meetings.

As a result, the City Council said, “No new organizations shall be allowed to exist in the City of Gould without approval from a majority of the City Council.”

Whatever this weird Orwellian contagion going around states starting with the letter “A” is, we hope it gets to Alaska next. [NYT]

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