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LOW CLASS LAWYER - SO WHAT ELSE IN NEW?

February 9, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nestled in a quiet Sacramento neighborhood is a very loud political statement that is testing the very foundation of the right to free speech.

Hanging from a house in Land Park, a soldier’s uniform in a noose dangles from a rooftop. The words “your tax dollars at work” are scrolled across the chest.

In a community full of patriotism, this view of the war in Iraq has not gone unnoticed.
“I think it’s the ultimate sign of disrespect. We have troops dying for us,” Land Park resident Mark Cohen said.

“(I’m) annoyed and disgusted. I think if this is the way someone feels they can find a better way to vent their opinions,” Land Park resident Pete Miles said.

The homeowners behind the controversy are Steve and Virginia Pearcy. They released a statement saying, “There will always be people who are offended by political speech, and the most important forum of all … is one’s own residence. The First Amendment is meaningless unless dissent is allowed.”

Some neighbors agree.

“Even if you don’t agree with it, he has the right to state his opinion. I don’t find it offensive at all,” Land Park resident Cece Williams said.

The tension in the neighborhood has escalated into more than just a political feud.
The matter has been reported to the police department and to the city attorney. The city council has even heard about it, but says they can’t solve the problem.

“Unfortunately or fortunately this is protected speech by the First Amendment … so there is nothing we can do about it,” Sacramento City Councilman Rob Fong said.

KCRA 3 received a call late Wednesday morning from the homeowner saying that a group of people had torn down the display. He said that what he did was not illegal, but what was done by the people who removed the display was.

Of course Mr. Pearcy, who is an attorney, is probably right and this is not illegal. But why not?
 

LOW CLASS LAWYER - SO WHAT ELSE IN NEW?






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