City sued for picking sides in Robert E. Lee statue dispute

By Bob Unruh

2017-08-11_2056

Robert E. Lee

A Virginia man is suing his city for blocking his protest in a park where a statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed while granting activists who support the decision permission to rally nearby.

Jason Kessler, defended by the Rutherford Institute, filed the suit against the city of Charlottesville in federal court arguing the First Amendment doesn’t allow the city to block one protester based on his viewpoint and then allow another with an opposing viewpoint.

The case alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

“Tolerance is a double-edged sword It has to go both ways. This governmental exercise in intolerance and censorship of speech that may be distasteful to the majority of the populace is exactly what the First Amendment was intended to prevent,” said John W. Whitehead, president of Rutherford.

Sen. Tom Coburn has come up with the answer to a Washington bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to care about the Constitution, or American people: An Article V convention, which he describes in “Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop Runaway Government.”

“Ironically, it was these very same tactics that local governments attempted to use to silence First Amendment activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers and shut down their protest activities. You either believe in free speech for everyone – no matter their viewpoints – or you don’t,” he said.

Along with the removal of the Lee statue, Charlottesville changed the name of the public land from Lee Park to Emancipation Park.

City officials revoked Kessler’s permit only five days before his long-planned demonstration in the park.

The city demanded that the event be moved to another location more than a mile away.

However, Rutherford said two other groups that oppose Kessler’s message, which have called on thousands of protesters to attend, Click to see the original article