Jackson Township NJ Sends Municipal Counter Terrorism Officer to Visit Arab American Muslim Household in Response to Protest Announcement – APP Update – Good News . . . Tone Change!

Pleasantly surprised to see the update in APP it now seems like the town is not going to trifle too much over the demand of permit and insurance. This is not a rule, but generally when folks organize events they put addresses on them not to say the event will be inside a building there but just as a geographical meet up for people to set their phones to on the way there. The officer had spoken about the site being closed that day as if he believed the community members wanted to use the building facility. But for those out there in town administrations that have to deal with our frequent protests – you can probably assume that is what we mean when there is an address: we are meeting in the pedestrian right of way in front of that location (PROWIFOTL). Sometimes to stay there – it could be a location like Sen. Booker’s office – and sometimes to move – lets avoid these panic reacts.

Mayor Reina please retract what you said to CAIR on 101.5 site and if you can get any associate local site editors to also retract equally tenuous statements to do so – it really is in everyone’s best interest including yours because you made an accusation without evidence – and did so as Mayor – which probably could put the town on the hook for any liability should something bad happen due to your false accusation. It is tenable purely from a legal viewpoint for you and the town.

The purpose of the rally is not your comments though it could come up – it is at least welcome that there is suggestion in the article that the town is going to permit the legal and peaceful constitutionally protected free speech event. – Ed.

On May 14, days after the “news” site, Shore News Network falsely smeared the organizers of a planned Jackson Township protest one of only a few Jackson Township’s Arab American Muslim households was visited by a Jackson police officer who proffered a business card identifying himself as a “Municipal Counter Terrorism Coordinator.”

The visit seemed to follow the script that the mayor laid out in the smear site article where he stated:

“We have several agencies looking into the origin of this online message. I can assure everyone that we did not authorize any parade or gathering, nor was a permit issued. At this time, we are not aware who the creator(s) are, but that will not stop us from being vigilant,” the mayor said.

The panic button was also pressed in a Lakewood Alerts blurb:
“Officials tell Lakewood Alerts that no permits for a protest at the DPW have been submitted or approved. The Jackson Police Department and New Jersey State Police are also investigating the origins of the flier announcing the protest, as well as whether there are individuals who are planning to attempt to illegally hold a demonstration at the DPW.”


What these news blurbs, the mayor’s comments and the police visit add up to – is an attempt to criminalize protected free speech and to intimidate the community participants and organizers.  

Following Reina’s narrative that legally protected speech merits a multi-agency and multi-level investigation  Counter Terrorism Coordinator and Uniformed Officer Commander Captain John Giavonetti visited the resident’s home and provided some possibly inaccurate legal advice suggesting that Jackson Township does not abide by the constitution regarding protected free speech.This editor listened to the interview with the resident.  These are observations:

The interview was conducted by Counter Terrorism Coordinator and Uniformed Officer Commander Captain John Giavonetti

1. The resident is aware and a supporter of the planned family friendly peaceful protest in support of an end to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is protected speech and a legitimate concern – it is indeed the responsibility of all of us to do everything possible to end the genocide.

2. The resident suggested to the officer that at recent area activities, due to aggression of pro-Israel advocates, it has been the side opposing genocide that has needed protection from police, one example being at a recent Howell Township council meeting.

3. The officer seemed to be interested in information about who were the organizers of the event and who else might be connected to it.  The resident declined to provide information but offered to try to figure out how to communicate to the organizers the advice and suggestions the officer was providing.

4. The officer made reference to “county” involvement in social media investigation which he stated led them to visit the resident. He was probably referring to Ocean County’s Homeland Security and Special Operations groups which are likely overlapping units.  

Editors Note:
It should come as no surprise that police have their nose in our social network business – it is not a hidden secret.  Meta is totally cooperative with the police.  Everybody must assume that Meta database is completely available to NSA and US intelligence as well as IDF intelligence networks – including what you might incorrectly assume is “private” messaging of Meta services. Ed.

5. The officer mentioned local ordinances in Jackson Township suggesting that insurance is required and permits are required.  Many towns have such ordinances.  But most towns understand that such ordinances do not apply to protected speech and protest.  It is constitutional to require a permit for a “parade” or a street festival for some festive occasion, and to possibly require insurance and fees for government services.  This editor believes the legal ‘advice’ being provided by the officer was specious though the officer was also communicating that he was willing to enforce what might not be constitutional ordinances – which would be a police overstep and infringement.

Some towns try to enforce those sorts of rules for protected speech but if they are  challenged in court they usually are found to be in violation of the Constitution.

There are times when a protected speech event *could* constitutionally be subject to permit, if your group wants to have a music stage, to close streets or you require city services.  Many local sound ordinances would likely be found to be in violation of the constitution if they were challenged and often towns will not get overly concerned especially if there are no complaints and the sound is not causing any actual problem.

Trespassing laws could be used to restrict WHERE a protest can legally occur but there is generally a 3 – 5 foot area at the edge of roads that is considered right of way – and 1st Amendment speech is protected in that space even if there are ordinances that local towns drew up without thorough evaluation of the constitutionality that say otherwise.  The right of way near the road outside the location of the originally announced address, at the DPW building,  is a perfectly legal protected speech location.

Striking workers are permitted to picket – – to march in a circle on the edge of the road in front of a business they are striking.  If the DPW workers of Jackson had a labor beef, the very original site for the cease fire protest would be a legal place for the workers to picket and they would not be required by law to get a permit.

Technically police can try to enforce loitering laws which is one of the reasons that striking workers move – march in a circle – picket.  

While suggesting that the town has a right to make what are likely unconstitutional uses of local ordinances to prevent protected speech, the officer suggested a park location that would have put the protesters away from public view which is suppressing the intention of the protesters to communicate their message to the public.  The officer stated that the permit and insurance would still be required even if the protest organizers accommodated the town’s suggestion.

The primary purpose of this detailed description of this local government and local, county and state police over reaction is to inform our struggle.  This could be just an over zealous Jackson Township or it could be a sign of the aftermath of the massive repression on the campuses – perhaps this repression will soon be thrown against our protected speech events in all of our communities. 

We need to respond informationally against the smears and violence orchestrated by politicians of both political parties, so called “news sites” as well as by hateful fascist groups that are encouraging violence against our ranks.  We also need to get each other’s back, watch the line, pay close attention, stay on our toes and remain organizationally flexible as new challenges arise.

The growing repression is a direct reaction to the absolutely beautiful success of our efforts through a magnificently collaborative process across all the lines of opposition to the genocide.  It is a movement that the “powers that be” just cannot fathom – that the days that “Israel can do no wrong” that we are allowed to talk about are long gone.  The repressive reaction has been fierce and so far we are resilient and we have been strengthened.  There is no putting this unified struggle back in the box.  

FIghtBackBetter is working on similar stories going on in communities all over NJ where all sorts of repression is being thrown against those speaking our minds.  Do contact us with the leads and we will try to support the repressed by bringing the truth to the surface!  Write to .

The following is a press statement by CAIR-NJ on this topic:

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