TO YELLOW RIBBON
DIRECT ACTION TEAM
By ANDY THIBAULT
The Cool Justice Report
March 1, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
I used to think the only speech worth protecting was offensive speech -- until I saw Dan Lovallo’s intrepid spot news reporting on the Litchfield, CT Town Green Sunday.
Lovallo’s high-impact reporting for
The Town Green has been held hostage by a clique that tries to manage public land as a private club. This notion cannot, and will not, stand.
Certainly it is encouraging that local citizens from the Bantam section of town have begun to assert their civil rights by placing yellow ribbons in honor of war veterans on the Litchfield Town Green. As I have observed the dynamics of this town for about 16 years, I sense the relatives of war vets would have had no problem if they were part of the ruling Historic District clique, or, if they were at least social drinkers with the ruling junta.
But, it’s a special group that conducts its business privately, even if it’s public business.
For example, there was a large gathering on South Street Sunday night that might have included quorums of various public agencies including the board of burgesses. Witnesses report dozens of people entering a residence, some of the public officials. If that is correct, where was the posting for this meeting? Was the public invited? Where are the minutes? [Those minutes should include an attendance list.] As public servants, right, know – or should know – any communication by or to a quorum constitutes a public meeting under the Freedom of Information Act.
Remember, this is the town “leadership” that said No to Black Santa, No to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and No to a synagogue.
This time they really stepped in it, saying No to those virtually everyone recognizes as patriots.
As an aside, I am encouraged to note that issues of basic rights – e.g., Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Speech, Freedom From Unreasonable Search – tend to unite people of widely-divergent political perspectives. The U.S. Marines I am proud to call friends say it best: “We Fight To The Death For Freedom Of Speech.” That includes those who say Support The Troops or Support The Troops By Bringing Them Home.
Friends and all Americans and people anywhere and everywhere do not have to agree on politics, war or peace. But, when they agree on The Bill of Rights, it’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps it is time to call U.S. Marines to the Litchfield Town Green. And don’t forget the civil rights lawyers. In this case, they are fighting to the death for the same cause.