And another thing…

Sometimes I wish the bureaucracy would let us alone to do our actions and have our public meetings and talk freely in a public place with as simple a human amenity as a small clean wood fire suitable for cooking or heating at any public park, if such an installation is available in steel or stone, and regardless if a citizen wants to build said small entirely legal fire in a device suitable to holding and containing any coals or ashes such that no permanent trace is left of where the fire has been.

Yes, it would be pleasent to avail oneself of warmth, hot beverages and food in public spaces large enough for an open discussion of current civic, political, and social issues.  But I don’t have access to such a space in my personal life, and access to relevant public spaces nearby is denied to our group by large armed police officers and suitably equipped fire crews, who come at the order of “some people in our town” who don’t want a fire at a publicly owned memorial.  More properly, I would venture our group believes “some people in our town”  don’t want at all any mixed groups of people gathering at a memorial for social and potentially political conversation with the neighbors, a chance to meet and get to know the people we ordinarily encounter only in passing on our streets.  If we give in to “some people” on our right to have a safe legal fire, they next will say we cannot share food, and if we give them that, they will say we can not smoke a cigarette or burn fragrant herbs for smudge.  They will go so far as to ban loitering if we make no protest. There  have even been suggestions to fence the memorial in, which is to fence ordinary neighborhood people out.

 

It doesn’t matter that the law is carefully written to express that simple clean fires for heating and cooking purposes do not require a permit in public parks and other public spaces.  The legality of such fires is not decided by the law, but by the opinions of “some people in our town,”  backed up at public expense by emergency personnel, even though there is no demonstrated emergency at all.

 

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