Thursday, April 30, 2015


Exhibit A -- All-white City of St. Augustine, Florida and St. Augustine Sister Cities Association, Inc. Delegation to Aviles, Spain, April 2015

The St. Augustine Sister Cities Association, Inc., City of St. Augustine, Florida and CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. --- Civil Rights Complaint re: Race Discrimination

Dear Attorney General Lynch:
Congratulations on your appointment and confirmation.  
Please direct the Civil Rights Division to investigate possible civil rights violations by Respondents, The St. Augustine Sister Cities Association, Inc., the City of St. Augustine, Florida and CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR.; Respondent Association's registered address for twenty years has been ℅ City of St. Augustine, St. Augustine City Hall, 75 King Street (Box 210), St. Augustine, Florida 32084.  See 
1. A recipient of millions of dollars of federal funds, our City of St. Augustine, Florida (municipal government and recipient of millions of dollars in federal funds) and its alter ego, the St. Augustine, Florida Sister CIties Association, Inc. (non-profit "cultural exchange" group), and its longtime leader, ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. (LEN WEEKS) for:
A. Repeatedly sending all-white citizen delegations to Aviles, Spain;
B. Not sending African-American high school students to Aviles, Spain (while sending the wealthy, including at least one of Respondent WEEKS' own children).
2. Other than one former Commissioner, Errol Jones, I have found no documentary evidence of any African-American participation in this putative "cultural exchange."  Respondent City responded to my Request No. 2015-98 that it has no documents on civil rights compliance or any Mayor, Commissioner or staffer ever expressing any concerns about the all-white "cultural exchange."
3. Our City of St. Augustine provides the mailing address and funding and gives significant encouragement to this all-white group, with City funds subsidizing City Commissioners and former Mayors and Commissioners, receiving tens of thousands of dollars in travel, lodging, meals and entertainment for an all-white "cultural exchange."
4. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from jail on June 11, 1964 that St. Augustine was "the most lawless" city in America.  
5. As a result of five decades of citizen efforts, our City is now finally but diffidently attempting to remedy environmental injustice and employment, housing, utilities, services and public accommodations  discrimination.
6.  This is too little, too late, however. We have waited long enough.  
7.  This is the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, our Nation's Oldest European-founded City.  
8. There may be further complaints and our city, St. Johns County and nearby City of St. Augustine Beach will be reformed, in Dr. King's words, "if it takes all summer.
9.  Exhibit A, above, was provided by Respondents to the St. Augustine Record and shows the all-white City of St. Augustine and St. Augustine, Florida Sister Cities Delegation to Aviles Spain "last week" (story below) on the occasion of dedication of a replica of teh 1812 Spanish Constitution Monument from our Slave Market Square to the City of Aviles, Spain.
10. Even in celebrating constitutionalism, on its 450th birthday, our Nation's Oldest European-founded City has resorted to apparently unconstitutional means -- a racially discriminatory delegation to our sister city in Spain.  Enough invidious discrimination.  Please bring an action for injunctive relief under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, made possible by the courage of local residents and other civil rights activists, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Robert S. Hayling, D.D.S., et al. 
11. The City Manager of the Respondent City of St. Augustine, Florida is John Patrick Regan, P.E..  The address for both Respondent City of St. Augustine and thSt. Augustine Sister Cities Association, Inc. is St. Augustine City Hall, 75 King Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084.  
12. The St. Augustine Sister Cities Association, Inc. registered agent for service of process, officers and directors are as follows 
Registered Agent Name & AddressKIRKER, LYNDA

Name Changed: 04/18/2012

Address Changed: 01/16/2014 
Officer/Director DetailName & Address

Title P


Title VP


Title RS


Title T


Please investigate and file an action for declaratory and injunctive relief under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin
Box 3084
St. Augustine, Florida 32085-3084


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Happy tenth anniversary, St. Augustine!

April 11, 2005 was the first time I spoke to the St. Augustine, Florida City Commission. I've been doing it for ten years, despite threats, including the one ab initio by the then City Manager that "I could have you arrested for disorderly conduct." April 11, 2015 marks the tenth anniversary: I have been reporting on St. Augustine now for 1/45th of its existence (2.2%), or 1/15th of its existence since the Civil War ended (6.6%). How should St. Augustine commemorate this event? What have we accomplished here? What's next? You tell me.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Let's share the blame: Congressional liberals introduced a weak bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that left out housing, education, public accommodations, and health care, as if GLBT people did not need those things. Typically, "liberal" legislators make their deals and sell out ab initio, leaving nothing to negotiate over later. The bill fizzled. Yet it sent a message like no one has done since President George H.W Bush's Ambassador April Glaspie signaled Saddam Hussein an invasion of Kuwait was okay.

INDIANA HATE GAYS LAW: Conscientious objectors or lugubrious goobers?

As if taking a law school exam question and finding real-life people to act out the roles, the government of Indiana and religious conservatives flopped, then flipped.

 The notion that someone's conscientious objections should keep them from pulling a trigger is enshrined in American military law. During Vietnam, thousands of Americans were spared combat on their good-faith religious beliefs, which were rigorously examined by draft boards and courts. Roman Catholics had particular tough times, because rather than opposing all wars, the COs invoked the "just war" theory. My father was a World War II paratrooper whose priests understood the need to stop Hitler. But if I had become a CO in Vietnam, he would have supported me, as evidenced by his telling NBC News Today Show host Joe Garragiola, proudly, "My son is anti-war" (during a segment with 82nd vets in which Garragiola tried to bait the paratroopers about Vietnam protesters).

The notion that someone's conscientious objections should keep them from arranging flowers, baking a cake or making a pizza is absurd. There is no assertive conduct in arranging flowers, baking a cake or making a pizza. If anyone is so frail as to worry to what use their flowers, pizza or cake will be used, he needs to be in a velvet room, like Proust. These hick hacks are pretenders. They're going for KKK and fundamentalist votes.

 I've studied the religions of the world, from the Baltimore Catechism on. None preach flower, pizza or cake withholding. So a few pouty pretentious pompous bluenosers want exemptions from cake-baking?

 The Devil-food with their supercilious, excuse-making maladroit "complaints." Let the cake corporations bake cakes or go out of business. Business owners are not permitted to use religion as a basis for race discrimination or other invidious acts: "Neither is the court impressed by defendant Bessinger's contention that the judicial enforcement of the public accommodations provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 upon which this suit is predicated violates the free exercise of his religious beliefs in contravention of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is unquestioned that the First Amendment prohibits compulsion by law of any creed or the practice of any form of religion, but it also safeguards the free exercise of one's chosen religion. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 82 S.Ct. 1261, 8 L.Ed.2d 601 (1962). The free exercise of one's beliefs, however, as distinguished from the absolute right to a belief, is subject to regulation when religious acts require accommodation to society. United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 64 S.Ct. 882, 88 L.Ed. 1148 (1944) (Mails to defraud); Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L.Ed. 244 (1878) (polygamy conviction); Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 64 S.Ct. 438, 88 L.Ed. 645 (1943) (minor in company of ward distributing religious literature in violation of statute). Undoubtedly defendant Bessinger has a constitutional right to espouse the religious beliefs of his own choosing, however, he does not have the absolute right to exercise and practice such beliefs in utter disregard of the clear constitutional rights of other citizens. This court refuses to lend credence or support to his position that he has a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of the Negro race in his business establishments upon the ground that to do so would violate his sacred religious beliefs. The sole question for determination under the circumstances of instant case is whether any or all of defendants' eating establishments are places of public accommodation within the meaning and purview of Section 201 of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Section 2000a).[2] In arriving at this determination the court is primarily concerned with the following factual and legal questions, which will be considered in inverse order hereinafter: (1) Is corporate defendant's establishments, or any of them, "principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises;" (2) Does said defendant at its establishments serve or offer "to serve interstate travelers;" and (3) has "a substantial portion of the food which it serves, * * * or other *946 products which it sells * * * moved in commerce"?

Lawyers/firms contracting, combining and conspiring to boycott the D.C. Superior Court were not treated with kid gloves as having exercised First Amendment rights. In Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, a unanimous Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not extend to a boycott of private lawyers. FTC v. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, 493 U.S. 411 (1990)