Saturday, May 23, 2015
"Breathing Space" For First Amendment Rights In St. Augustine, Florida -- NOW!
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called St. Augustine, Florida the "most lawless city in America" in 1964, resulting in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history.
Our First Amendment deserves "breathing space." NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 433 (1963) New York Times. v. Sullivan, 3766 U.S. 254 (1974); Gasparinetti v. Kerr, 568 F.2d 311, 314-17 (3d Cir. 1977)(illegal restrictions on ￼policemen’s First Amendment rights); Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Hepps, 479 767, 772, 777 (1986)(O’Connor, J.)(newspaper entitled to breathing space defamation case); Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 52, 56 (1988) (Rehnquist, J.) (magazine parody of TV preacher entitled to breathing space); Keefe v. Ganeakos, 418 F.2d 359, 362 (1st Cir. 1969)(Aldrich, C.J.)(chilling effect on First Amendment illegal suspension of teacher over Atlantic Monthly article on Vietnam War); Parducci v. Rutland, 316 F.Supp. 352, 355, 357 (M.D. Ala 1970)(Johnson, C.J.)(chilling effect in illegal firing of English teacher over Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House.
At future City Commission meetings, starting on June 8, 2015, City Hall & Lightner Museum, 75 King Street, speak out. Help explain that to our City of St. Augustine City Commissioners before more federal lawsuits, as on suppressing the Rainbow flags on the Bridge of Lions and criminalizing art and music in our streets and on public participation in asking questions, demanding answers and speaking out against oppression. The lengths to which City Management has gone to deny "breathing space" and to chill, coerce and suppress free speech is an embarrassment. It is a civil rights violation, with both criminal and civil remedies.
Our 450th birthday is on September 8, 2015: let's have a celebration of freedom, one everyone can be proud of -- otherwise, public interest lawyers will sue the living daylights out of City Manager JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E., et al.