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South Orange Hands Off Lisa Davis / USA Hands Off Uhuru Activists

FightBackBetter published the article by Lisa Davis about the absolutely absurd lawfare action that has been taken by South Orange mayor, police and prosecutor – Lisa Davis is literally being prosecuted for protected First Amendment Free Speech Activity.  For months, South Orange community members of every religion, race and ethnicity have unified in opposition to an ongoing genocide being committed by the United States and Israel – slaughtering 100s of Palestinians- men, women and children every day since October 2023.  South Orange community members protest every Sunday in South Orange or Maplewood demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

While 40,000 is the widely reported number of Gazans killed by the USA and Israel so far – the truth is the number of martyrs is more likely in the 100s of 1000s and there is absolutely no accountability for the Gazan population right now.  Nobody knows where all of the Gazans are – they are only counting the confirmed and identified dead.  With buildings resting on top of bodies, nobody working to recover bodies or body parts, corpses blown to little bits beyond recognition, the relatives of victims who can identify other victims also killed – the number is likely several fold what is reported.

At a South Orange community protest in March, there was a disruptor who pulled his car up in front of the protesters – jumped out and started ranting loudly and semi-coherently – arms flailing and moving in too close proximity of the community members.   He was angry at the community members and per his comments – pro-Israel.

The police were called.  The belligerent individual – was not charged.  However several days later the only Black Woman protester at the event was charged.  The two charges were both false – that she had organized the event without a permit and that she had used an illegal sound device.

After 8 months of similar protests in South Orange, Lisa Davis is the only person that has been charged with these ludicrous accusations..

First off – there is no need to get a permit for protected free speech assembly in South Orange or anywhere else in the United States.  When town’s pass ordinances requiring permits it is  usually for events that require assistance from the town – perhaps in shutting roads, diverting traffic, providing government services.  Protected speech does not require a permit.  For example if South Orange public workers have a beef and need to strike or picket – they do not need a permit.  The edge of the road is the right of way for pedestrians and in that space Americans have a right to protected speech – without a permit.

Most towns recognize the difference between a protected speech event and other sorts of events.  There is no permit required for protected speech events – the permit is called the US Constitution.  Furthermore Lisa Davis did not organize the event, she only attended.  How in the world did the Mayor and the chief of police of South Orange approve this citation! Does the Prosecutor of South Orange not understand the concept of protected speech?

Sound ordinances also are suspect when they apply to protected speech.  However in this case – the tiny little horn that Lisa had in her hand at the event is a toy as far as sound devices goes.  The volume is limited and it is likely that any decibel levels that the sound ordinances are supposed to enforce are hardly even reachable shouting through that tiny horn on full volume.  Ludicrous.  Embarrassing.  I would hate to be one of the 3 people whose faces appear at the top of this article who are ultimately responsible for these charges.

What is happening is that South Orange is pandering to demands from pro-Israel fanatics that want an example set – they want to find any handle to curtail the unstoppable growth of the movement challenging US – Israel genocide.  It is shameful that the Black police force chief and Black prosecutor are participating in this painfully obvious case of racial profiling.  Who are they serving and what are they protecting?  Why are they participating in the racist citation and prosecution of Lisa Davis in service to the racist and genocidal US – Israel slaughter in Gaza?

RePost if you dare!

And what about Mikie Sherill – the pro-war and pro-Israel congressional candidate with close connections to the South Orange machine?  She is nowhere to be found to defend a constituent from this persecution.

This FightBackBetter editor is doing everything in my power to correct this ridiculous situation.  We published Lisa’s article about the situation.  I have reached out to journalists, the local NAACP chapter, written to the town administration and prosecutor and to NJ state. 

The best outcome would be for South Orange to just come clean – drop the charges and they can say it was all a big misunderstanding.

Meanwhile let us recognize the misconduct in office of the mayor and police chief and let us hope that the prosecutor knows better than to fall into a trap. 

As for the South Orange Attorney – my suggestion would be that you talk to your insurers about this case because there is very possibly going to be some liability for trumped up prosecution of free speech.

All of this can be avoided – get out the old DISMISSED! Stamp and set aside this absurd local soap opera and pander.

Editor’s Note: We must bring relentless pressure per the request from Lisa in this article – we need to bring the full bearing of our movement down against this administrative, police and prosecutorial misconduct and violation of the constitutionally protected free speech of Lisa Davis and our whole movement against the US / Israel genocide operation in Gaza. If you have not sent the letters – send them now and also share this link to your discussions and stories. – Ed.



Contact the following:

Governor of NJ: constituent.relations@nj.gov

NJ Attorney General Office at: OCS@NJOAG.gov

NJ Office of Public Integrity and Accountability – opia.siu@njdcj.org

South Orange Mayor, Sheena Collum: scollum@southorange.org

Municipal Prosecutor Gracia Robert Montilus – gmontilus@southorange.org

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