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ACLU of Utah Asks the LaVerkin City Council to Repeal the United Nations Free Zone Ordinance

17 July 2001 Published in Legal Advocacy

ACLU of Utah Asks the LaVerkin City Council to Repeal the "United Nations Free Zone Ordinance."

Read the Letter and Ordinance Below >>

 

ACLU of Utah Asks LaVerkin City Council to Repeal the “United Nations Free Zone Ordinance”

July 17, 2001 LaVerkin City Council
111 South Main Street
LaVerkin, UT 84745

Re: Ordinance 2001-09 “United Nations Free Zone Ordinance”

Dear city council member,

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, I am writing to express our concerns regarding LaVerkin’s United Nations Free Zone Ordinance and to urge you to repeal the ordinance at tomorrow’s city council meeting.

While the ordinance states that its underlying purpose is to protect personal freedoms and constitutional rights, our principal fear is that it has the opposite effect and criminalizes constitutionally protected conduct, namely the First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and association. The reporting and disclosure requirements in section 6 that apply to “United Nations agents” run counter to the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from compelling its citizens to disclose their associational activities or beliefs.

Moreover, the vague nature of the ordinance poses constitutional problems as well. Because of the tremendous importance that the First Amendment holds in our country, courts have required that criminal statutes attempting to regulate constitutionally protected expression be detailed enough so that all residents know to whom a law applies as well as what conduct is prohibited. Ordinance 2001-09 does not meet this requirement, and its ambiguous language provides the opportunity for arbitrary enforcement.

In the past week, several of your constituents have contacted us to express similar concerns regarding Ordinance 2001-09. If the ordinance stands, we will monitor its enforcement as well as any efforts by the city to single-out individuals who express opinions that are counter to those outlined in the ordinance.

The above issues reflect only our primary concerns with the ordinance’s constitutionality, which we believe may pose additional constitutional problems. Thank you for taking our considerations into account, and please call me at (801) 521-9862 if you have any questions about the issues raised in this letter.

Sincerely,

Carol Gnade
Executive Director

 

United Nations Free Zone Ordinance

Section 1 Name.
This Chapter shall be known as the United Nations-free Zone of LaVerkin, Washington County.

Section 2. Purpose.
A. To maintain and preserve the Supreme Law of the Land as set forth in the Constitution of the State of Utah, and of these United States to the benefit of the people of the City of LaVerkin, including but not limited to, the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, and the rights to keep and bear arms, to trial by jury, to the privilege against self-incrimination, and to the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and to the common law writ of habeas corpus. The underlying purpose of this ordinance is to protect personal freedom and self government.

B. To oppose the United Nations Charter as an illegitimate and unconstitutional charter.

C. To resist the United Nations’ unconstitutional and illegal usurpation of the United States of America sovereignty.

D. To restore completely the People of the Several States as the final and ultimate civil authority in these United States of America.

E. To recognize no executive, legislative or judicial power within the city limits other than those powers duly constituted by the People in the Constitution of the State of Utah and by the Peoples of the Several States in the United States Constitution.

F. To protect the citizens of the City of LaVerkin, especially those who are members of the United States armed forces, from involuntary servitude to the United Nations.

G. To refuse any and all United Nations funded programs, studies, or other activities within the city limits of LaVerkin.

H. To prohibit the investment of any City funds in any business, government agency or other entity which supports or directly cooperates with the United Nations.

I. To protect the citizens of the City of LaVerkin from taxation without representation, by forbidding the implementation within the city limits of any tax, levy, fee, assessment, surcharge, or any other financial imposition by the United Nations, and petition Congress to refrain from funding United Nations activities and oppose any attempt by the United Nations to fund its activities through taxation.

J. To establish a citizen’s right to know about, and to increase citizen awareness of, the activities of the United Nations.

Section 3. Findings
The people of LaVerkin find that:

A. The City Council of this city is bound by oath and affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and, pursuant to that oath and Article VI of the United States Constitution, to obey only treaties "made under the Authority of the United States."

B. The United Nations Charter is not a treaty "made under the Authority of the United States," but an illegitimate and unconstitutional internal constitution, having never been submitted to, nor ratified by, the People of the United States, as required by Declaration of Independence, the charter of our nation.

C. The United States government has absolutely no constitutional authority to participate in any United Nations program or activity, and United Nations personnel and facilities have absolutely no legal right to be within the geographic boundaries of the United States.

D. The Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court of the United States, in violation of their sworn constitutional duties under Article VI of the United States Constitution, have utterly failed to protect the people of the United States from the United Nations’ usurpation of the sovereignty of the people of the United States, including the sovereign powers of the people of this city.

E. The City Council, bound by its oath to support the Constitution of the United States and by its duties under Article VI of the United States Constitution, must protect the sovereignty of this city and of its people, and to that end,

1. No citizen of this city shall be forced to serve the United Nations in any capacity.

2. No United Nations personnel or facilities may be present or may be located within the geographic limits of this city.

3. No United Nations funded programs, studies or other United Nations sponsored or funded activities may take place within the geographic limits of this city.

4. No city funds may be invested in, nor may any city personnel participate or cooperate in any way with the United Nations activities.

F. The People of this city have a right to know about the unconstitutional and unlawful activities of the United Nations, as they impact on this community, and the City Council has a duty to its people to increase citizen awareness of the United Nations through community, school, and civic educational programs.

Section 4. Prohibitions
A. United Nations Flags and Symbols. No flag, symbol, or other logo of the United Nations shall be displayed on city property, provided however, that this prohibition does not apply to a photograph or other pictorial display of such flags, symbols or logos as part of an exhibit of an historical nature.

B. United Nations Personnel. No United Nations personnel may conduct any official United Nations activity of any kind whatsoever and, under no circumstances, may United Nations peacekeeping or other troops be quartered on any property within the geographic limits of this City.

C United Nations Tax. No tax, levy, surcharge, fee, assessment, or other financial burden authorized by the United Nations may be imposed on or collected from any person within the geographic limits of this City.

D. United Nations Restraints. No arrest or restraint of the liberty of any citizen of this City by any official acting under the authority of the United Nations may be affected within the geographic limits of this City.

E. International Court Decree. No judicial order, decree or judgment entered by any international court under the authority of the United Nations shall be enforceable within the geographic limits of this City.

Section 5. United Nations Free Contracts and Investments
A. Contracts. The City of LaVerkin shall grant no contract to any person, business or nonprofit entity which knowingly engages in work for the United Nations, or for any entity supported by or affiliated with the United Nations, unless the City Council makes a specific determination that no reasonable alternative exists, taking into consideration the following factors:

1. The intent and purposes of this ordinance;

2. The availability of alternative services, goods and equipment, or other supplies substantially meeting the required specifications of the proposed contract; and

3. Quantifiable additional costs resulting from use of available alternatives.

B. Investments.
The City of LaVerkin shall refrain from making any new investments in businesses that knowingly engage in work, whether with or without remuneration, for the United Nations, including advertising support of, subsidies for, or promotions of the United Nations, its supporters and affiliates, and their activities. Within two (2) years of the adoption of this ordinance, the City of LaVerkin shall divest itself from all such investments currently held by it (including pension funds). The City Council shall adopt an economically responsible plan with respect to city pension fund and other investments and shall implement such plan consistent with the intent of this ordinance.

Section 6. Reports and Information
So long as any work for or with the United Nations, its financed supporters and affiliates continues within the City of LaVerkin, the following monitoring of such activities shall be carried out by the City through such agencies as the City Council shall designate.

A. Annual Reporting.
Any entity engaged in work for or with the United Nations, its supporters or affiliates (hereinafter designated as "United Nations agent") shall prepare an annual report which details the activities and programs engaged in, names the agency or entity worked for or with, states the nature of the relationship between that agency or entity and the United Nations and specifies the reasons for continuation of such work or relationship. These annual reports shall be filed with the designated city agency or agencies and shall also be made available for inspection and copying by any interested member of the public.

B. Information.
The City Council may require any United Nations agent to provide such further information as the Council deems is necessary to keep the community adequately informed of "United Nations activity" within the City and at such reasonable times and places as the City Council determines.

C. Signs.
Every facility within the City of LaVerkin in which work for or with the United Nations, its supporters or affiliates takes place shall be required to install and maintain signs clearly visible to any passing person, identifying the facility with the legend "UNITED NATIONS WORK CONDUCTED HERE."

D. Fee:
Each United Nations agent shall be assessed a fee at rates to be determined by the City which shall be at least adequate to cover, in the aggregate, the costs of administering this act.

Section 7. Community Right to Know
The City of LaVerkin, through its own agencies and in cooperation with other local government agencies and educational organizations and interested citizen groups, shall assist and promote educational activities, including but not limited to curriculum in public schools and adult education programs, to advance public awareness and understanding of work for the United Nations, its supporters and affiliates and related matters as addressed in this ordinance.

Section 8. Public Notice of United Nations-Free Zone
Every road entering the City of LaVerkin which has a sign marking the City limits as of the date of the passage of this ordinance, and every road entering the City of LaVerkin which shall, after the passage of this ordinance, be so marked, will also be marked equally prominently with a sign reading "United Nations-free zone, established by City Ordinance 2001-09."

Section 9. Enforcement
Each violation of this ordinance shall be a Class C misdemeanor.

Each day shall be deemed a separate violation.

Residents of the City of LaVerkin shall also have the right to enforce this ordinance by appropriate civil actions for declaratory or injunctive relief.

Section 10. Severability
If any section, subsection, paragraph, or word of this ordinance shall be held to be invalid, either on its face or as applied, the invalidity of such provision shall not affect the other sections, subsections paragraphs, sentences or words of this ordinance and the application thereof; and to that end the sections, subsections, paragraphs, sentences and words of this ordinance shall be deemed to be severable.

This ordinance shall become effective immediately upon passage and posting.

DATED this 4th day of July, 2001