Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The First Amendment in Bangor, Maine

The Bangor, Maine city council put the kibosh on a proposed ordinance that would ban

the dissemination or distribution by the public of written material, "including but not limited to magazines, brochures, newspapers, fliers, pamphlets and posters" in city buildings. The policy would have allowed material related to the function of each department.

Of course, the folks who dreamed up this scheme weren't just worried about clutter on sideboards in the hallways.

At issue was a newspaper called the Common Sense Independent, published, written and edited by award-winning Maine journalist Terrilyn Simpson.

The publication is critical of the state Department of Health and Human Services, in particular its handling of children who have been taken into its custody and treatment of the children's family members.

Kudos to the council for summarily dismissing this flagrant attempt to quash dissent.

Of course, as is usually the case, the attempt to stifle the distribution of this publication will only lead to broader awareness of it. Here's a link where you will find a downloadable .pdf document of the first issue.



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