LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council voted 13 to 1 to pass an ordinance that prohibits a laundry list of items from public demonstrations, including political protests. The banned items include pepper spray, baseball bats, stun guns, and bottles. The movement within the Los Angeles City Council is a result of violent protest at sites that include University of California – Berkley and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Councilman Mitchell Englander was the bill’s strongest advocate and believes that the ordinance will make both police and protestors safer at public demonstrations. Councilman Mark Bonin was the sole member of the council to vote against the bill, due primarily to the inability to legally differentiate between instances wherein it would or would not be okay to ban the items in question.
Civil rights attorneys have argued that the state may not legally be able to prohibit citizens from bringing items to protests that they would be able to carry in public. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has openly criticized the prohibition.
Protests against President Donald Trump are expected in several U.S. cities on Saturday as part of an online campaign created in recent weeks.
The text of the ordinance –as well as an exhaustive list detailing the banned items – can be reviewed at the Los Angeles City Clerk’s website: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2017/17-1127_ORD_185217_11-3-17.pdf.