Saturday, June 27, 2009

Silencing Highway Critics Hurts Everyone

Traditional media has not reported that critics of a $2.3 billion dollar road-building and expansion plan were told by state transportation officials and State Fair police that leaflets and signs opposing the plan could not be distributed and displayed at a public hearing Monday.

Details here.

And that the critics were told they could hand out leaflets blocks from the hearing, where no one would coming to the hearing was likely to stop and read the leaflet.

The state should not bully citizens seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights, especially when the spending of an unprecedented sum of public funds is up for discussion.

When anyone has his or her basic rights trampled, ours are damaged, too.

This is basic Democracy 101.

And in a state where progressive traditions are alleged - - but not implemented, apparently - - shameful and unacceptable.

This was an unnecessary exercise of state bureaucratic authority, backed up by sworn officers with arrest powers, and should be condemned.


Anonymous said...

If the WisDOT plan were so vastly superior to all others, then WisDOT should not be threatened by the presentation of information about alternate proposals.

Given that WisDOT's modus operandi has been one of arrogant bullying, they should have been expecting--and thus better prepared for--opposition.

Calling the State (Fair) police reeks of pathetic desperation.

enoughalready said...

Want to get the word out? Get thee to Miller Park! (And, hey, the Cubbies are in town this weekend!)

Did you know ... our Milwaukee Brewers have a policy allowing for "Expressive Activities on Miller Park Grounds?"

From the '09 Milwaukee Brewers Guest Information Guide (pp. 30-31):

"Members of the public who so desire will be permitted to: (1) engage strangers who wish to be engaged in conversation on topics of a political or contentious nature (including personal campaigning by candidates); and (2) parade with placards and signs or distribute literature on the grounds of Miller Park, under the following conditions.

Such expressive activity is not permitted inside Miller Park or in the parking areas of Miller Park ... [but] is permitted anywhere else outside Miller Park, as long as the free flow of pedestrian or automotive traffic is not disrupted.

Parading with placards and signs or distributing literature is permitted only in the area or areas designated by the Brewers. Generally, the designated area will be in the plaza area outside Miller Park behind home plate from the Workers Memorial Wall to the transit bus circle along the west side of Robin Yount Way.

However, the designated area may be changed by the Brewers depending upon the size of the event, crowd size, use of the Plaza area, and/or size of the parading or distributing group."

enoughalready said...

Oops! Brain glitch! The Brewers are playing the Cubs in Chicago this weekend. (My apologies and sincere regrets for the error.)

Just as well, maybe, as larger crowds might justify more free speech restrictions. I still think getting the word out at Miller Park is a good idea, though.

FYI (trust me!), St. Louis comes to town for three games, July 7-9, followed by L.A., July 10-12.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody tell me,when a person,get in a accident on a major highway,who protect the victim?wcb protects the company employees,the contractor,only interested in protecting themselves and the RCMP, not being at the accident when it happens and generally they listen to whatever the contractor say's and the victim sits there with nobody to go to,to say their story so the government can make a difference on safety on the highway for the public.Who does the policing to make sure the plublic is protected by all these contractors that the provinces hired to do a job on your major highways.I was in a accident a few weeks ago and I was very shock that Ledcor LTD had safety people who had no procedures on what to do when an accident happen.I been looking to talk to somebody that can take my issue seriously and I looked everywhere on the internet and would like to know if anybody there can help me.
Thank you
Ron Brick