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Indybay Feature
Mon Aug 20 2012 (Updated 08/22/12)
The People Speak: "Free Speech Not Hate Speech on SF Transit"
Mon Aug 20 2012 (Updated 08/22/12)
Bay Area Artists Modify Islam-Bashing Hate Speech Advertisements on SF MUNI Buses
In July, a federal judge ruled in favor of a well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" led by Pamela Geller, giving the group the right to run demeaning and racist advertisements with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The same day the judge ruled that New York's MTA violated the First Amendment rights of Geller's group, San Francisco's MUNI approved the same ads for its buses, despite a policy against political advertisements. By August 10th, the Islamophobic ads were running on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel (between two stars of David). Defeat Jihad."

After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, despite community pressure, local artists took matters into their own hands and modified at least one of them within a week by placing an illustration of a "hate speech" stamp over the ad. By August 19th, several of the advertisements had been modified, more recently by changing the text to read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."

photo Photos: 1 | 2 | Pamela Geller: Bus Ads Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Racist Views of Arabs and Muslims? | Pro-Israel War Ads on Municipal Buses
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