Fwd: The First Amendment Case Begins

From: Cari Machet (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Aug 07 2007 - 11:32:20 PDT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rev Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping <email suppressed>
Date: Aug 6, 2007 11:54 PM
Subject: The First Amendment Case Begins
To: email suppressed

   Rev's Trial For First Amendment Recitation Began Today

NEW YORK, August 6--Free Speech lawyer Norman Siegel appeared in court today
with co-counsel Earl Ward arguing for the dismissal of 2nd Degree Harassment
charges against Reverend Billy (aka Bill Talen). The activist preacher was
arrested on June 29 for reciting the First Amendment in Union Square, but
Siegel insisted "Reverend Billy has the First Amendment right to recite the
First Amendment."

Siegel went on to argue that this attempt to convict the Rev using the
harrassment statutes is akin to the District Attorney accepting the NYPD's
argument that the Reverend and the police are somehow in a romantic
relationship or a marriage of some kind.

 [image: The First Amendment Is Our Permit]
Photo by Fred Askew Photography The case history of the 2nd degree
harassment law is limited to ex-boyfriend sexual stalkers and drunk

The Reverend's comment: "Chutzpah! The cops say that they are my abused
wife? Are they so defenseless? I didn't put THEM in the Tombs!" a reference
to the City's correctional facility, where the Rev had been detained for 20

Siegel and Ward argued that reciting the 44 words of the First Amendment was
not harassment but had real civic value in the context of the Critical Mass
bike ride and the Picture New York group's struggle against limits on
filming and photography in public spaces.

The entire text of Siegel's argument for dismissal can be found at
www.revbilly.com. The Reverend's defense lawyers will submit today's
arguments in writing to the court by September 10th, and if the charges are
not dropped, the trial will go forward on September 25.

Reverend Billy and the Church of the First Amendment believe that
Consumerism is overwhelming our lives. The corporations want us to have
experiences only through their products while neighborhoods and "commons"
places like stoops, parks, streets and libraries disappear into the
corporatized world of big boxes and chain stores. Through performance and
direct action the Church works with communities around the world to "push
back" against corporate and state violence.
      (c) 2007 all rights unreserved and for the people, Rev Billy and the
Church of Stop Shopping. To remove yourself from this list CLICK
| www.revbilly.com
[image: pixel]
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