Re: Ann Arbor Film Festival - lawsuit success

From: Flick Harrison (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Dec 07 2007 - 13:27:18 PST


I read the complaint and the dismissal, and was wondering why AAFF
dropped the complaint without recovering legal costs or the withheld
(but already awarded) $13,600? Or was that settled outside the court?
I.e. does that money now have to flow to you? Or just not worth the
risk after winning the main battle?

I thought it was odd that recovery of that money wasn't mentioned in
the Relief Sought, though it's possible it would be included under 59
(f). Which then makes the complaint not moot at all, contrary to what
it says in the dismissal.

This case reminds me of the one in Park City Utah. The Roadance
festival was banned from showing movies from a moving or parked
vehicle - it was against city parking regulations.

I hooked RD up with the ACLU, who were working through Utah a series
of suits from an animal rights group who were showing videos from a
truck in a technically similar way. The ACLU had a pretty iron-clad
free speech case and so Park City rescinded their regulations
voluntarily (well, not exactly voluntarily, but of their own volition).

In the Ann Arbor case, I particularly liked the critique of the
restriction on "desecration of a flag."

55. Similarly, the term "desecration of a flag" is unconstitutionally
vague because it is unclear whether it is limited to burning a flag
or whether it includes, for example, sewing a peace sign on a flag or
displaying a flag upside down. In addition, it is not clear whether
the prohibition applies to American flags or whether it includes Nazi
flags, school flags, sports team flags and the like."

The fact that illiterate, narrow-minded boobs get to write laws
really drives me nuts. They thought "flag" was perfectly clear,
because what other flag is there??? And "desecration" is perfectly
clear because anything we don't like is desecration, you bunch of
terrorist commies.


On 6-Dec-07, at 8:59 PM, Donald Harrison wrote:

> Dear Frameworks community,
> For those of you who haven't already heard, the Ann Arbor Film
> Festival successfully settled its federal lawsuit vs. the State of
> Michigan. In effect, the AAFF challenged arts funding restrictions
> that allowed state politicians to censor certain artists and arts
> organizations - and we won. These restrictions were controversially
> used against the AAFF in 2006 to revoke $15,000 of designated state
> funding. By settling this lawsuit the State of Michigan has agreed
> to adopt language guidelines for funding the arts that mirror those
> of the NEA and upheld by the Supreme Court.
> We want to thank everyone who has supported the AAFF during this
> challenging time and in our recovery efforts to replace a major
> grant provider. If you would like to read more about the this
> lawsuit success, there's details on our website here:
> Yours in motion,
> -Donald
> _______________
> Donald Harrison
> Director of Community & Development
> Ann Arbor Film Festival
> office: 734.995.5356
> ENDANGERED: The Campaign to Preserve the AAFF
> The 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival
> March 25 - 30th, 2008
> ***uncensored since 1963***
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.