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Free Speech for All
Free speech for Wall Street Occupiers means free speech for everyone
Ten days into the OccupyWallSt.org (OWS) movement I wrote a letter to the editor of several papers complaining about the lack of media coverage. Since then I've also written about ways to address some of the Occupiers' concerns.
We are now seeing significant coverage of OWS in both local and national media. One angel I've occasionally read and heard is comparisons to the Tea Party movement. Although so far I've only heard a few Tea Party members come out in support of the OWS movement, if nothing else, both movements are recognized for holding up lots of signs with a wide range of statements and demands and so should support each others right to do so.
I was pleased to read that in Arcata CA, even the Mayor was out in support of the local Occupy Arcata protesters, but I must point out that while many in Arcata support the right of these "Occupiers" to hold up their signs, if one of these protesters dares to include a request for donations on one of those signs they will be in violation of Arcata's Panhandling Ordinance, over which , I am currently suing the City of Arcata http://www.northcoastjournal.com/blogthing/2011/05/20/salzman-sues-arcata-over-panhandling-law/ .
If we want to support free speech for Tea Party Members and Wall Street Occupiers alike, we need to also tolerate free speech by panhandlers.
(founding member of Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense Fund )