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This diary is intended for those who work at the offices of members of Congress who are holding Health Care Reform Town Halls. If you know one of them or have any type of contact information, please get this out to them. After looking into the disruptions at many of the Town Halls that have already taken place, I notice a trend that I think, if corrected, will dramatically reduce the number of disruptions taking place at these events all over the nation.

The goal of Congress members is to have a real debate is it not ? Well, we are seeing that this is not happening due to mass interruptions and incitements perpetuated by outside groups who have already made clear that they are not attending these events to join in on the conversation, but rather disrupt and halt all debate.

This can no longer stand. Organizers and staff members must start implementing some control. Those of us who worked on high profile campaigns such as the Obama and Clinton campaigns all across America knew how to do this and part of it was due to enacting effective crowd control policy that kept the events civil and the disruptions at a minimum.

Because many of theses Town Halls have already been scheduled and invitations have already been sent, here are two things that event organizers can implement immediately via e-mail or at the door to avoid or at the very least, minimize the disruptions and stop those seeking to infringe upon the rights of residents to participate in these Town Hall Events.

  1. Enforce a No Signage/ No Large Bags Policy: This is not a campaign rally nor it it a caucus. This is a conversation. There's no need for the signs. Organizers should send mass e-mail (the same list you used to send out and alert residents of the event) or post large signs stating the following disclaimer:

Due to recent security concerns, no large bags or signs will be permitted into the Town Hall. Thank you.

Those bringing the signs will be stopped at the door and asked to turn their sign in at a designated table to be picked up after the event. If they say no, they are asked to leave the premises where they can protest outside. If they don't , they will be escorted by local Law Enforcement.

  1. Enforce a "Tickets Only" Policy. This may be too late to enforce for events being held closer to today's date. But anything from a week to two weeks out can. Using the same e-mail list you invited people too. Add a feature that requires the person to RSVP with their name and address. If disruptors use this to sign up, obtain tickets anyway, you have their information. You can also add the No Sign/Bag policy as a disclaimer at the bottom of your e-mail.

This is a ticketed event. Please print and bring this ticket with you and be prepared to present identification. Due to recent security concerns, no large bags or signs will be permitted into the Town Hall. Thank you.

These two policies , if enforced and implemented , will dramatically cut the crap. It may also thin out the crowd a little bit. But the people showing up will be legit and sincere. Then, you can have a real debate on Health Care Reform. There are a few more things you could have done but it's too late for those so I wont post them.

Stay safe and good luck.

Originally posted to WeBetterWinThisTime on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:37 AM PDT.


Do you agree with these policies ?

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| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeterHug, fumie, 4fx, empathy, BachFan, Onyx, grannycarol

    "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:37:13 AM PDT

  •  How about resident requirement (4+ / 0-)

    I like the idea of checking ID at the door.

    This way the protesters who are being "bussed" in cannot gain entry.

    Town hall meetings are for the community to talk to their representative. Although health care is a big issue, I know a lot of people who have other concerns about their community that their representatives can address, if they had the chance to talk.

    great diary-very informative.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

  •  Camcorders. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empathy, Onyx

    Big camcorders, on tripods, bracketing the podium and aimed at the audience.  Most bullies won't cause a big problem if they see first-hand that you're filming them.  It wouldn't hurt to start a "rumor" that those causing problems will be identified and publicly outed (which could be a good thing-----finding out how many of these "protesters" are either from out-of-district or out-of-state). Mandatory-appearance citations issued to out-of-staters can work wonders for a local economy, too---motel rooms, restaurants, and other "visitor-related businesses" will thank you for the added income during these stressful economic times.  Think of it as a "Robin Hood" kind of thing....

    Watch for people coming to the event in out-of-state vehicles---especially long passenger vans and buses.  If you see them unloading with their teabagger signage, have local law enforcement detain them in the proximity of their vehicle until after the event has concluded (it's called "probable cause", and can be used against wing-nuts as well)....

    Also, bring in a visible police presence.  Announce beforehand that those whose purpose is to disrupt the meeting will be first asked to cease and desist, then asked to leave, and then subject to summary arrest for disorderly conduct and inciting to riot.  Who knows?  Maybe those who are funding the protests will cough up the cash for tickets, fines, and court costs....

    The only good freeper is the one found at the bottom of an ocean....

    by Liberal Panzer on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 11:46:38 AM PDT

  •  Need suggestions for a townhall this week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm going to Adam Schiff's townhall this week.

    Is it worth bringing quotes from the bill so one can challenge nutcases who claim it will kill granny?

    As a physician, are there points it might be particularly powerful for me to address?

    •  Since when do wingnuts listen to evidence? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Seriously, these people are like the tweakers I used to hang out with, back when I liked doing speed, that were either always paranoid or would get that way after being awake for a few days. I've even experienced it myself a couple times. You get stuck in this delusional world where someone, the police, some guy you ripped off, your best friend for no reason at all, are out to get you and no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise.

    •  There are several diaries with practical (0+ / 0-)

      suggestions ... here's one, but I'm sure you can find others by searching for "town hall" using this.

      "Specialization is for insects." -- Heinlein

      by BachFan on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 12:17:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ID at the door to prove you're a resident (0+ / 0-)

    or you don't get in, bitches. Two fold effect, makes sure everyone who lives in district gets first priority for admittance and scares off the wackos because they won't want you having their information.  

    •  you'll need a security presence to enforce (0+ / 0-)

      Looks like local police in many areas have been doing a good job of keeping the lid on. It's important that staffers communicate clearly to the police the potential for problems and the potential size of the crowd they're expecting (basically go with whatever the maximum capacity of the venue is). Taking names and providing name tags may be one of the most effective tools you can employ in these kinds of situations, as a way of diffusing the kind of misbehavior that comes from anonymous mobs and to make it easier to identify those responsible if something happens.

      Holding events indoors at public buildings, like schools, is also a good idea. In most states it's unlawful to carry concealed firearms into such places (if your state allows concealed carry in such places, ask the police if they can screen visitors for weapons -- if they can't/won't you may want to consider postponing or canceling until you can get better security -- and make your security concerns public), and any disruption in that kind of venue will make it easier for police to suppress disorderly conduct through arrest.

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