Pensacola Pastor Threatened with Arrest for Speaking at Public City Hall Meeting


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December 18, 2011

Father Nathan Monk tells the City Council, “We have the right to redress our government without fear of being arrested,” and is nearly arrested. Read the article: http://www.pensacoladigest.com/2011/12/council-urges-civility-threatens-pries…


Council urges civility, threatens priest with police removal

Joe Vinson
Pensacola Digest
December 16, 2011

[...]

Father Nathan Monk wasn’t laughing at last night’s City Council meeting. During the Boyd Forum, an open comment period named in honor of the late civic activist LeRoy Boyd, Father Monk chided the council members — and Council President Sam Hall in particular — for their actions at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. At that meeting, several citizens had spoken in opposition to the proposed anti-homeless ordinances, and in doing so made unflattering comparisons to historical figures (one person mentioned Heinrich Himmler’s “Final Solution“) and questioned the Christian charity of any council member who would support the ordinances. Council members DeWeese and Johnson took offense at the accusations, and Hall had asked Police Chief Chip Simmons to remove several speakers he deemed “out of order.”

At last night’s meeting, Monk told the council they had no right to dictate the content of their speech, and suggested that they instead examine any actions by the city that would prompt such comparisons.

“As Americans, we have the right to redress our government without fear of being arrested,” he said. “Whether or not they’re connecting dots from Hitler to George Wallace to Barney … you should be asking, ‘well what are we doing that’s allowing people to connect those dots?’ It was a sick and gross abuse of power.”

Council President Hall interrupted Monk at that point. “Your time is up, sit down,” he said.

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