Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

ACLU Wins Battle In War Over Protester's Rights

We all thought it was unbelievably obvious that to make protesters protest far, far away, out of eye- and ear-shot of The Powers That Be (for whose benefit the protest, at least in theory) was, uh, missing the point.  Criminal would also be an apt description.  Thank whoever you thank for your blessings that on our side we have the ACLU.

From the ACLU's blog:

 We argued that this discriminatory treatment violated the First Amendment right to free speech. More specifically, we contended that it was a form of viewpoint discrimination. The Supreme Court has written that "the First Amendment forbids the government to regulate speech in ways that favor some viewpoints or ideas at the expense of others." That is what happened when our clients' messages criticizing the president were blocked while the pro-Bush supporters were allowed to express their views unimpeded. Some of the defendants in the case — a Secret Service agent and a couple of officers from the sheriff's department — asked the judge to terminate our case before it reached a jury.
Today, the district court held that our clients' case deserves to move forward. It held that "First Amendment law forbidding viewpoint-based restrictions on speech was...clearly established at the time of the event and would put a reasonable official on notice that disparate treatment of protesters based on their viewpoint was unlawful." After devoting 20 pages to carefully reviewing the facts, it concluded that a reasonable jury could conclude that law enforcement engaged in viewpoint discrimination.
The case is not over. To win, we will need to convince a jury to believe our clients' story of what happened rather than law enforcement's version. Also, it is possible the defendants will try to appeal at this point. However, today's decision is an important one not just to vindicate the rights of the clients in this case, but to bring home once again that where the rare opportunity arises to express our views directly to our most powerful officials, we all have an equal right to do so, no matter how vehemently we may disagree with them.  (Read more)

 Read the Federal District Court, New Mexico, ruling on the case.

Be seeing you.

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  1. There is a commonly accepted illusion in this country, and indeed -most of the West, that there is something called progress -which implies a betterment of everyone's condition and a preservation of their so-called freedoms.

    No one was more-free than the Indians who roamed this land before the white settlers showed up with their black slaves in tow -not far behind.

    The ACLU is part of the grotesque obfuscation going on today, concerning these supposed rights and progress.

    Show me someone who knows and will speak well of the truth.

    All the rest are boastful liars just seeking to eek out an ever more difficult and tenuous existence in the surroundings of all this vast devastation that has occurred since 1492.

    Don Robertson
    Limestone, Maine

  2. The invitation only Republican political events are reminiscent of the Nazi Nuremberg rallies. When a protester at these events shows their dissent, they are shouted down with chants of USA! USA! and a mob surrounds them to escort them off the premises. After Bush's first inauguration, he and Laura strode down Pennsylvania Avenue only to be met by an angry electorate throwing garbage at him..., he has to be hustled away in his bomb proof limo. Some neo-conartist probably came up with these free speech zones! Compare these to the mass protest rallies of the Vietnam era. They did it to cut the balls off the protest and it worked!