Despite bother, police say Obama protesters didn't break law

Photo Town Crier File Photo

An activist outside the U.S. Post Office on Main Street in May speaks with a woman who declined to give her name. The group set up in front of A.G. Ferrari Foods last week.

Los Altos police received a call Thursday that the LaRouche Political Action Committee was displaying signs in downtown Los Altos that depicted President Barack Obama with an Adolf Hilter-esque mustache. Despite annoying some passersby, a police spokesman said the two protesters weren’t breaking the law.

“When you get into First Amendment rights, the Constitution’s the Constitution,” police Capt. Andy Galea said. “We respect everyone’s First Amendment rights, regardless of content.”

The pair – set up in front of A.G. Ferrari Foods at the Main and Second streets intersection – represented the political action committee, which promotes and protests various political issues.

Police received several calls May 3 that two different LaRouche members, set up outside the U.S. Post Office on Main Street, were harassing passersby. When contacted by an officer for allegedly “using strong language,” the two said they would leave soon, according to Galea.

The pair, who identified themselves only as John and Linda, declined to be interviewed.

Galea said if the activists had been in the street or interfering with traffic, they would have violated city codes. A police-issued permit would be required if they had more than 150 people in their group, if they wanted to close a street or were selling something.

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