Friday, November 12, 2004

Biggest non-news of the day

9th Circuit: Cow Palace wrongly limits protesters' speech

Yes, Cow Palace. No, it's not a burger place.

An animal-rights activist brought the case, saying small "free-expression zones" set hundreds of feet from the entrance stymied him and others from protesting circuses and rodeos. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

We let you people breathe, don't we? Isn't that enough?

"Cordoning protesters off in a free expression zone the size of a parking space, located over 200 feet from the entrance, far from encouraging interaction with them, is more likely to give the impression to passers-by that these are people to be avoided," Judge Marsha S. Berzon wrote in Kuba v. 1-A Agricultural Association. Judges Edward Leavy and Richard Paez joined in the decision.

Martha, dear, let me explain it; these people are to be avoided. 'Kay?

The case was brought by Alfredo Kuba, a California animal-rights activist who was prohibited from demonstrating in the walkway to the entrance of the arena. He has been arrested there three times, he said.

Kuba, 47, the founder of the Silicon Valley chapter of In Defense of Animals, plans to protest an Oct. 29 rodeo at the Cow Palace.

"I intend to exercise my rights of free speech without being forced in an area where people don't even walk by," the Mountain View man said.

Alfredo, get a clue. If anyone wanted to walk by you, they would.


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