11
Okt
2005

The fight for free speech at Union Square

CounterPunch
by Alan Wallis

10/10/05

Joshua Frank, who published 'NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan' on CounterPunch should be commended for focusing on the question of free speech in Union Square, but his assessment of the political environment in this important battleground is way off. Those to whom he dismissively refers as 'wannabe Abbie Hoffmans' are in fact a wide range of different types of dissenters. ... Also contrary to Frank's observation, these activists do indeed face almost constant police harassment. Their megaphones are confiscated so frequently that they have to buy them in bulk, and they face arrest, fines, trumped-up legal charges, and heavy sentences of unpaid 'community service.' They defy repressive city ordinances banning the use of signs larger than 2 feet by 3 feet without a permit, banning the use of amplification without a permit and, on good days, they also end up defying the ban on public gatherings of more than 24 people without a permit...

http://www.counterpunch.org/wallis10102005.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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