L.A. to Impose New Punishment on Audience Members Who Disrupt City Council Meetings

Jamie Garcia of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition addresses the Los Angeles City Council in September 2018 about proposed rules that would crack down on people who disrupt meetings at City Hall. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Jamie Garcia of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition addresses the Los Angeles City Council in September 2018 about proposed rules that would crack down on people who disrupt meetings at City Hall. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to crack down on people who repeatedly disrupt their meetings at City Hall, defying attorneys and activists who charge that the new rules trample on free speech rights.

Beginning in January, people who are repeatedly ejected from City Council or committee meetings for shouting from the audience or other “disruptive acts” can be banned from attending other meetings that day and for up to six additional meeting days.

Activists from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, the Los Angeles Community Action Network and other groups vigorously opposed the plan at City Hall, calling it a tool to squelch dissent.

“You’re actually limiting our ability to protest, to say no, to use our bodies to say we are standing up for our communities,” said Jamie Garcia, a member of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.