sent in by Ed Brannum, Republic of Texas
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
BY THOMAS BURR
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
Most city councils have enough to do keeping the streets clean and safe. Not La Verkin and Virgin. The rural southern Utah towns have taken on the United Nations.
The international organization has not exactly overrun them, but the two town councils are considering ordinances that would erase all traces of the United Nations in their communities, citing concerns the body is usurping the sovereignty of the United States.
"We've been pushed far enough, and long enough," La Verkin Mayor Dan Howard said Monday. "We're tired of marching to [the U.N.] agenda. Maybe now we can start to march on our own agenda. Maybe La Verkin is the crucible to get the rest of the cities and the national government to listen."
Prompting the anti-U.N. ordinance was the case of Michael New, an Army medic from Texas who was court-martialed in 1996 for refusing to wear a U.N. beret and insignia for peacekeeping duty in Macedonia. New's father, Daniel New, met with both town councils last week to discuss the proposed ordinance.
The proposed ordinance creates a "United Nations-free zone" that would ban aiding the organization with town funds, displaying any U.N. symbols on town property and prohibit the "involuntary servitude" of any resident in U.N. peacekeeping activities.
Those who support the organization would be required to post signs that say, "United Nations work conducted here."
This is not the first time the towns, about 25 miles northeast of St. George, have courted controversy. A year ago, the Virgin Town Council passed a law requiring all households to own a gun. Last week, La Verkin passed a resolution supporting the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The towns have also passed legislation supporting free use of public lands and opposing federal control.
U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday that while his office often receives criticism, this is the first time he has heard of a U.N.-free zone. However, the organization had no comment on the issue. "The U.N. doesn't involve itself in the internal affairs of its member states," Haq said.
Likewise, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Susan Pittman said this was also a first for her but said the Utah towns are perfectly free to criticize the U.N.
La Verkin Mayor Howard acknowledged the move was largely symbolic. But that will not stop La Verkin from making a big splash out of it. The City Council has scheduled a special Fourth of July meeting in which it is expected to adopt the ordinance, making it the first such city in the nation to do so, according to Howard.
Meanwhile, Virgin officials are proceeding more cautiously.
Virgin Mayor Jay Lee calls the ordinance "real interesting," but is unsure his council will pass it at its next meeting July 19.
At least one council member opposes the U.N. measure. "It's just another radical thing that we don't need," Ken Cornelius said.
La Verkin Councilman Al Snow, who helped draft the ordinance, says the city is only trying to shape the debate about the United Nations and make a statement to the federal government: The United Nations should not control U.S. foreign policy.
Said Snow: "The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and not some [U.N.] treaty that tries to supersede it."
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Notice: TGS HiddenMysteries and/or the donor of this material may or may not agree with all the data or conclusions of this data. It is presented here 'as is' for your benefit and research. Material for these pages are sent from around the world. If by chance there is a copyrighted article posted which the author does not want read, email the webmaster and it will be removed. If proper credit for authorship is not noted please email the webmaster for corrections to be posted.