FLORENCE MAYOR STEVE HOLT SAYS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Florence Mayor Steve Holt respects every citizen’s First Amendment rights. Those rights are extremely important to all Americans. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, religion, and press. It also protects the right to peaceful protest and to petition the government for grievances.
As mayor, he is required to allow the Project Say Something Group to be able to express its grievances. Mayor Holt has repeatedly stressed that any group or person can protest, but that protest should be peaceful. When protestors cross the line and begin harassing people or destroying property, they become looters or rioters.
When the line is crossed, officers usually warn the offenders before taking any enforcement action. Some peaceful protest violations that activists have been charged with in the past and found guilty of are trespassing, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, or immediate threat to public safety.
As evidenced by the many complaints, it is obvious that the actions of the group, whether intended or unintended, have caused the Florence downtown businesses to be affected financially, and citizens who have frequented those businesses have felt intimidated and harassed by this group.
While First Amendment rights are important, equally important are the security and rights of the city’s merchants and citizens. As mayor, it is his duty to protect the security and welfare of these businesses and the citizens who live, work, and frequent the downtown area. He will not allow any type of negative environment to continue, and it stops today.
Today Mayor Holt issued orders to Chief of Police Ron Tyler to have officers secure the Court Street downtown area, to maintain order and prevent any climate of intimidation or harassment. It makes no difference if it is intentional or unintentional, it will be stopped immediately. The officers have been instructed to act upon any violation of Florence City ordinances or state laws and to remove the violator in an appropriate manner. If any violations occur in any other part of Florence, they should be met with immediate enforcement of all laws available to stop such from continuing.
The City of Florence should be a safe place to shop and enjoy the wonderful cuisine served by the fine restaurants throughout the city. Mayor Holt has taken decisive action to ensure the law is followed, peaceful protests are protected, and that citizens of our city are safe. He should be commended.
enough is enough
FULLY AGREE. People can see you and your sign. They can talk to you, and you can talk to them. Those are your rights. Harassing people is not a Right. Disturbing the peace of others is not a Right. If you think those are Rights you have, you are simply incorrect. If you can't research and realize this, I hate it for you, but you're failure to realize is no one else's responsibility. Figure it out. Know your Rights, but just as importantly, know where they end.