…an actual civil liberties organization:
To help spruce up the building’s image, they hired artist Matt Evanson and gave him free rein to paint a giant mural of marine life, thus far depicting images of six local game fish: snook, redfish, tarpon, dolphin, grouper and sailfish. But Evanson has not been able to complete the artwork – which contains no words except for his signature – because the city on Florida’s Gulf Coast claims it violates the sign code.
He had an interesting counter:
His response? Proudly hang a giant banner with text of the First Amendment promoting free speech in front of the mural. Not amused, the city of Clearwater is now threatening to hook Quintero with fines of $500 a day for displaying the large version of America’s founding document.
Well they weren’t the only ones not amused:
The American Civil Liberties Union has been reeled in and is representing Quintero in court.
“Only in Florida could a business owner be targeted and fined for displaying artwork; and then in protest of the fine, display the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – and then be ticketed for that,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “Unfortunately, public officials disregard constitutional freedoms all the time, but punishing citizens for displaying the Constitution may be a first.”
Stop the ACLU is impressed:
This is a fight for a certain amount of free speech. All liberty minded Americans should hope for the ACLU to be victorious over this corrosive power of the city to impose itself on its citizens. Anyone interested in the rights of property owners should support Mr. Quintero in this fight. More of these thuggish city rules should be challenged throughout the country to put a check on the nanny state in which we increasingly live.
Hey lets see if this keeps up.