Police called during city hall prayer protest by Atheists of Florida

Members from our group, Atheists of Florida, have this year taken on two city governments in the Tampa area (Tampa City Council; Lakeland City Commission) over our concern of government sponsored prayer during public business meetings. 

 

This we have done following all rules and protocols during the "public comments" portion of their respective meetings' agendas.

 

On Monday, April 5, 2010, we, myself and four others, attempted to do just such a presentation to the Lakeland City Commission but were abruptly "ad hoc" limited to only 3 minutes and by only one representative of our group.  This limitation was in stark contrast to others, one prior who had spoken for at least ten minutes, and several others, invited up by the mayor representing the religious community, who were permitted to speak without any ordered time constraints.

 

When it was clearly apparent that discrimination against us was occurring, I stood up and, out of order, began to loudly protest.  At its finale, when I attempted to speak on my behalf introducing myself as a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (which I am as well), the mayor recessed the meeting and he and the commission walked off while I shouted to them that his actions were an outrage and that all of them should be ashamed.  Policemen from the Lakeland Police Department entered the commission chambers at about this time.  

 

Unedited video of this segment of the commission's closed circuit tv feed ... http://tinyclip.tv/3a184e8f

 

Newspaper article of the event ...

 

"LPD Called to Cool Lakeland Prayer Protest Dispute"

 

http://www.theledger.com/article/20100405/NEWS/4055056?p=1&tc=pg

 

 

We are exploring legal action on several fronts over this situation.

 

John Kieffer

President, Atheists of Florida

jakieffe@mail.usf.edu

 

http://atheistsofflorida.org/

    

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That's ridiculous. I'd be just as outraged if I were you. Take 'em down!
I love how this is being characterized as outside agitation when two atheists from Lakeland were right there in the picture.

Do please keep us posted!
funny, another microshaft silverlight request...@ the vid link

here's another connection to the disconnection(s):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaAzdB_P690

From youtube comments
"you do realize that christmas is the catholic church's integration of the pagan holiday Saturnalia, don't you? The earliest accounts of your jesus character are in the gospels of mark which was written in about 70ACE, 40 years after jesus's supposed death when the average dying age in Jerusalem at the time was between 40 and 50 ie. book is either not an eye witness or was written by someone who saw this guy as a child. Hinduism is the world's oldest religion but that doesn't make it right. " wtf?
Thanks for posting this.

But I think shouting in a public forum may not be such a great way of getting your point across. The legal action will cost you money you may not be willing to part with at this point. There are other ways of getting your complaint out - have you tried posting your video, complaint on social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter? I also suggest Reddit.com/r/atheism, where you will probably get some support.
Another suggestion is to give Alan Grayson a call. He's pretty with it and will probably support your cause.

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