Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 377
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 377
 
  Special meetings will be held each month. Meetings will be held at 8 o’clock P.M. to 9 P.M.
  No secrets or slang language or nicknames allowed or a fine of $.03 is asked.
  If any body receites a recitation and makes a mistake he is not to be laughed at or a fine of $.02 must be paid.
  If any member takes the laws into his own hands and interferes with the president or any other officers or walks up and down the meeting room or draws pictures on the boards a fine of $.02 will be paid.
  Any one who is spoken to 3 times about order will be put out for that meeting.
  Amendment 1. No member will be allowed to go on a stranger’s roof, or a fine of $.03 will be asked.
 
  Why not on a stranger’s roof? Because flying kites, up there the boys run across and interfere with the neighbor’s pigeons, which is apt to make him wroth. So you see it is all in the interests of “domestic tranquillity and the common defence.” They are not meaningless phrases, those big words, they are the boy’s ideas of self-government, of a real democracy, struggling through in our sight. And suppose he does walk on rhetorical stilts, he has precedent and will show it to you. A nation learned to walk on them. Who shall say they are not good enough for him?
  But to return to what I was speaking about: with the women to lead, the school has even turned the tables on the jail and invaded it bodily. For now

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