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Dallas City Hall May Muzzle Weekly Public Speakers

Ozumba Lnuk-X with his trademark plastic shackles and cane.
? Dallas Morning News
Ozumba Lnuk-X with his trademark
plastic shackles and cane.

By BJ Austin

Dallas, TX – Approval of an amendment to the Dallas City Council Rules of Procedures would eliminate five public speaker slots now at the beginning of each council meeting, and prohibit consecutive or weekly appearances by an unrestricted number of after-the-meeting speakers. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway says a lot of time is spent listening to the same people say the same thing every week

Caraway: Folks have the right to speak. We have the responsibility to listen. At the same token, it needs to be pretty close to the subject matter at hand.

Ozumba Lnuk-X has signed up to speak at the city council meetings nearly every week for the past four years - after he was taken to jail in an aggravated assault case - without his medication. He always wears plastic shackles.

Ozumba: I'm tryin' to get some justice, liberty, equality and justice. I can't even get any justice down there. They don't even want to talk to me about my problem. And here I am standing there. And I'm not going anywhere. I'll be there til I die. I'll be there til they wheel me in in a wheelchair. I'm not going anywhere.

The council may also approve restricting time-limits on speakers when there is a large group on one issue. That's already being done informally. But a vote Wednesday could put in the rule book.