Jackson to Hold Hearing on Maintaining Public Safety During Rallies and Protests

November 14, 2017


LONG BEACH- In the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville earlier this year that killed one person and injured dozens of others, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, will hold a hearing tomorrow in Long Beach that examines whether our communities are ready to protect public safety during controversial rallies and protests while at the same time preserving the right of free speech.

The hearing is titled “When Free Speech Crosses the Line: Protecting Public Safety in California.” This hearing is the last in a three-part series focusing on California’s readiness to respond effectively to protests, marches, rallies, etc. that could become violent. 

“Free speech is not just a fundamental right in this country, but one of the principal pillars of our democracy,” said Jackson. “At the same time, managers of our public spaces have an obligation to protect the public from potential violence breaking out at events where free speech is exercised.”

Following the violence in Charlottesville, the California State Senate leadership announced a series of public hearings “to ensure California is prepared to protect public safety and free speech in the event of future white supremacist activities.” 

Wednesday’s hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the California State University Office of the Chancellor’s Dumke Auditorium, located at 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, California. The hearing will include testimony from university leaders and public safety officials from the California Highway Patrol, California Military Department, and the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center, among others.

For more details, please see attached agenda here. The hearing will be livestreamed here.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.