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cybermage's Journal: Criminalization Of Free Speech Continues

Journal by cybermage

In another patriotic stomping on free speech, a man in Kent, Ohio has been charged with littering for putting up an "Impeach Bush" sign.

The story of this incident is really one of poor judgment. It would probably not be an issue if Kevin Egler, the poster of the sign, had placed it on his own property. Instead, he posted the sign along the road on the right-of-way like any other sign you might see during political season.

Most municipalities and/or states, regulate the timing of the placement of such signs along the road to ensure they are not a constant eyesore. When campaigns step outside those guidelines, they are simply asked to remove the signs. That was not the case here, and that is the important part of the story. In this case, authorities charged Mr Egler with littering -- a charge that could lead to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.

The worst part of a story like this is what the effect is has on the population's psyche. Many will hear this news story and will store away the fact that expressing their political views on a lawn sign will get them in trouble with the law, and they'll think twice before they do it themselves. What they should be doing is rallying to Egler's side and put up lawn signs of their own.

People must be willing to defend the freedoms of others as if they were defending their own or this nation is doomed. Always keep this poem in mind when you hear these stories:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -
        because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -
        because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
        because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

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Criminalization Of Free Speech Continues

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