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L.A. bans glass bottles, pepper spray and other items at protests

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clash with counter-protesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Emancipation Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12: White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clash with counter-protesters as they enter Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Emancipation Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

"It really is an effort to make sure people's freedoms and liberties are protected, but also their well-being," says LA City Councilman Mitch Englander

Protest in L.A., and you'll be fine as long as you don't bring things like pepper spray, stun guns or anything else on a new list of banned items.

The L.A. City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance designed to protect protesters and police at rallies like the ones in Berkeley or Charlottesville, Virginia.

"It really is an effort to make sure people's freedoms and liberties to protected, but also their well-being," says city councilman Mitch Englander, who spearheaded the new law.

But civil rights organizations like the ACLU of Southern California have their concerns.

"I'm really worried. There's a lot of talk about how there will be a lot of discretion," says chief council Peter Eliasberg, "but unfortunately, there's some pretty bad history in the city of Los Angeles with police and protests."

The full list of banned items includes:

  • Planks of wood thicker than 1/2 inch and wider than 2 inches, and those that do not have blunt ends
  • Any length of metal or metal or plastic pipe
  • Signs, posters, banners, plaques or notices not constructed out of soft material
  • Baseball or softball bats, unless made of soft materials like cardboard or foam
  • Any aerosol spray, tear gas, mace, pepper spray or bear repellant
  • Catapults, wrist rockets or any other device capable of launching an object
  • Weapons such as firearms, knives, axes, ice pics, nunchucks, BB guns, or stun guns
  • Balloons, bottles or other containers filled with flammable or biohazarous matter
  • Glass bottles, whether empty or filled
  • Open flame torches that use fuels like gasoline or kerosene
  • Shields made of metal, wood or hard plastic
  • Bricks, rocks, pieces of asphalt and the like

Hear more of the arguments in support of and against this new law. Click the blue audio player above.

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