Long Island Town Bans Booing, But Not Applause, at Town Hall Meetings

approvedPete Prodoehl / Foter.comAs noted on Reason 24/7, the town of Riverhead on Long Island in New York has banned booing at its town hall. But not clapping. Apparently, an ordinance was introduced to ban any kind of outbursts at town hall meetings, but someone had a problem with that , from a free expression/free speech standpoint.  The Riverdale Patch reports:

Dominque Mendez, president of the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, Inc., raised a concern….

As originally written, rule number seven of the new legislation said that "No member of the public shall engage in any demonstration, booing, hand clapping, or otherwise disrupt the formality of a town board meeting."

Mendez suggested the rule "goes far to restrict what's free expression and free speech."

Hand clapping, Mendez said, has been heard at town board meetings during instances including the preservation of the North Fork Preserve. "People clapped and no one minded," she said.

That sounded good enough to town officials:

[Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean] Walter said he was fine with omitting the words "hand clapping" but added that the section regarding forbidding booing and disruptive behavior should remain in the legislation.
"We don't want any booing that's disruptive," he said.

The board agreed and voted to pass the resolution, allowing for applause but no boos.

After the unanimous vote, there was applause in the audience.

It’s not exactly free speech if only the kind that supports government action is allowed is it?

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  • Juice||

    Sorry, OT, but this story was too funny.


    Hair testing for drugs of abuse has not achieved general acceptance within the scientific or law enforcement communities,” the board wrote. “A reported positive test result is not necessarily conclusive of ingestion and ... may or may not justify termination.”

    Four other former cops who appealed over their failed drug tests — Preston Thompson, Oscar Bridgeman, Rudy Guity and William Bridgeforth — had their firings upheld, according to the commission.

    Some of them made excuses for their failed tests, including Bridgeforth, who told the commission he may have had false positive tests because he brushed white powder off the seat of his cruiser, which he “assumed was confectionery powder from doughnuts.”
  • Hyperion||

    Ok, fail drug test, you're fired.

    Shoot puppies, taze granny, promotion.

    Makes sense.

  • sarcasmic||

    Drugs are a test to see if you will blindly obey authority. Failing a drug test means you think for yourself, and that is simply not acceptable.
    If a puppy gets shot or a granny gets tazed, they deserve it because they did not blindly obey authority.
    It's all about blind obedience.

  • Hyperion||

    If a puppy gets shot or a granny gets tazed, they deserve it because they did not blindly obey authority.

    I hear that happens sometimes even if they do blindly obey authority.

    Officer 1: Restrain that dog!

    Citizen: Ok, come here boy...

    Officer 2: I told you don't move!

    Officer 3. Bang! Bang! Bang!... continues to empty magazine into Brutus the Yorkie.

  • sloopyinca||


    Officer 1 and 2: Panic fires an entire magazine, reloads and empties a second magazine into Citizen.

    Officer 4: I saw the whole thing. That POS was coming right toward you guys. Good shoot.

    IA Officer (some time later): Here are your police reports, boys. Make sure you fill all of the blanks we left for you. Don't forget to dot your i's and cross your t's. Now, enjoy your three month vacation.

  • NeonCat||

    Maybe use vuvuzelas instead? Air horns? Sad trombones? Hissing?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Maybe use vuvuzelas instead?"

    You mean like a queef?

    /Mouse implanted with a Krugman brain

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I like the hissing idea.

    The sad trombone would be good, but I doubt security would let it in the room.

  • ||

    Epi will be along any minute now with his tired, unfunny Futurama quote about having a sickening amount of freedoms, Pain-Monster, etc.

    Just spare us all your banal evil, Epi. For the children.

  • Killazontherun||

    The hypnotoad got you, didn't he?

  • SugarFree||

    You told him not to get it in your hair and he just didn't listen, did he?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    That is 24 hours on the Tree of Woe for you, mister!

  • Brandon||

    My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.

  • A Serious Man||

    Price is Right 'failure trombone'!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Great, looks like my plan to filibuster the next town hall with 13 hours of free verse poetry slam is going to hit a snag the first time someone finger snaps in appreciation. In other words, I'll be gone in 60 seconds. In other words, before I can make my first reference to a Nic Cage movie.

  • sloopyinca||

    In other Long Island news, a cop punched his three year old son in the face.

  • A Serious Man||

    404 webpage cannot be found

  • sloopyinca||

  • CampingInYourPark||

    *Sad trombone noise*

  • A Serious Man||

    Sloopy's cliffhanger went off the cliff.

  • sloopyinca||

    You could have at least posted the whole thing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Then they should probably refrain from showing Islander games.

  • sloopyinca||

    I didn't see anything there outlawing rabble rabble rabble.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Or robble, robble, robble!


  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Hand clapping, Mendez said, has been heard at town board meetings during instances including the preservation of the North Fork Preserve. 'People clapped and no one minded,' she said."

    You remember that time we did that awesome job and people clapped? I liked that part!

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you do if your Corvette is about to slam into a tractor trailer?

  • Virginian||

    Goddamn.....he basically used up all the luck he'll ever have in one instant.

  • Proprietist||

    That's when you show up with a crowd of former booers and start clapping loud enough to drown out the councilmembers every time they open their mouths to speak.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Standing ovation everytime they try to speak....nice.

  • Proprietist||

    I was thinking they should learn how to clap "F--- You" in morse code.

  • Proprietist||

    Or "Boo."

  • InfernalBear||

    Axel Foley-style clapping and overly enthusiastic, taunting praises.

  • Hyperion||

    what about hurling rotten vegetables at their faces? Is that banned?

    I think what is wrong with society today, for the most part, is that there is not enough hurling of rotten vegetables at elected officials.

  • NeonCat||

    Not to mention tarring and feathering.

  • ||

    You may be on to something there Hyperion, and dont forget rotten eggs.

  • Hyperion||

    Can the rotten eggs be fired from a high powered air rifle?

  • ||

    clearly you have not thrown many rotten eggs.
    They are very fragile and have to be thrown gently. If you accelerate them too quickly they will burst in your hand.

    Dont ask me how I know this.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The board agreed and voted to pass the resolution, allowing for applause but no boos.

    After the unanimous vote, there was applause in the audience.

    The system worked!

  • Bam!||

    Are you saying "Boo" or "Boo-urns"?

  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    "After the unanimous vote, there was applause in the audience."

    I think I may have figured out what the problem is.

  • db||

  • db||

    test image

  • ||

    Sounds like a California town hall. Only positive vibes allowed.

  • Paul.||

    *snaps fingers*

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about slow claps?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I wonder how they'd respond to a silent "thumbs down".

  • Ornithorhynchus||

    The law doesn't mention mooning. Mooning is quiet, so it won't disrupt the meetings. We should all go there and moon them.

  • SumpTump||

    Every now and then dude you just have to roll with it man.



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