Sunday, October 16, 2011

Free speech for all or for none

It's great to see so many stories on the Occupy Wall Street movement.  While Tea Party members may not feel much affinity with the Occupy Wall Street members, to quote Zach St. George writing in the North Coast Journal, "...their members might find more in common if they paused to consider."

I was pleased to read in our local media that in Arcata CA., even the Mayor was out in support of the protesters. But I must point out that while many in Arcata support the right of these "occupiers" to hold up their signs with any number of statements and demands, 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, as covered on The Journal's Blogthing, I am currently suing the city.

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.

Richard Salzman
Founding member of Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense Fund

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