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Miami Beach votes on enacting limits on protests following recent pro-Palestine events

The Miami Beach City Commission voted unanimously Wednesday for the city to enact limits on protests after a series of recent pro-Palestine demonstrations.

The resolution, introduced by Mayor Steven Meiner, will set restrictions on reasonable time, place and manner conditions for protests. The vote was first reported by the Miami Herald.

The resolution points to several pro-Palestinian protests that have taken place in the city since the start of the Oct. 7 war between Israel and Hamas. The resolution said Miami Beach recognizes “the importance of fostering strong and peaceful international relations by supporting nations that share these values, including the State of Israel.”

The vote comes just days after police directed pro-Palestinian protestors to move to a “free speech zone” near the Miami Beach Convention Center, saying they cannot stand directly outside the event’s entrance for security reasons, the outlet reported.

The city noted that it “seeks to balance the protection of free speech” and the right to protest peacefully “with the absolute need to maintain law, order, and public safety.”

“It is crucial that the City be more adequately prepared to lawfully manage the time, place, and manner of any future protests or demonstrations, and ensure compliance with its regulations by subjecting violators to appropriate penalties and/or sanctions,” the resolution said.

People and organizations planning protests will now have to advise the mayor and City Commission of the size of a protest before it takes place, so the city has time to “adequately prepare the public for the impending protest.”

Meiner supported the proposed resolution by citing pro-Palestinian protests at which he claimed “our laws have been violated.” The mayor cut off one speaker during a public comment period who said the ongoing war in Gaza was a “genocide” and said the resolution restricts free speech related to Israel, the Miami Herald reported.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that while the government can’t regulate the contents of speech, it can place restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech for public safety.

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