Speaking of free speech: Flyer ban enforced in River Market | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Speaking of free speech: Flyer ban enforced in River Market

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 9:00 AM

POST NO BILLS: LR police stopped posting of this one on Tuesday in River Market.
  • POST NO BILLS: LR police stopped posting of this one on Tuesday in River Market.

Today's picketing by fast food workers reminds me of another 1st Amendment activity that ran afoul of Little Rock police this week.

Volunteers were posting flyers on poles (see above) in the River Market neighborhood urging participation in an appearance at Sen. Mark Pryor's office to support a proposed constitutional amendment to overcome Supreme Court ruling that corporations have the same speech rights as people. Pryor remains uncommitted.

The volunteers were told by police officers that it was against the law to tape flyers to posts and garbage cans. Volunteers noted they were posting on poles covered with other flyers. Officers said the flyers had become such a problem in the area that city parks employees would be removing them. "Seems pretty stupid," remarked one of the men posting flyers.

I checked in with the city. There is indeed an ordinance that prohibits attaching signs to poles and other public property. The city has been advertising that fact in public service announcements. The police have been trying to discourage the practice.

Citywide or only in the River Market? I asked. Citywide, the police responded. You may judge for yourself by utility poles in your neighborhood how effectively and widely this ordinance is working.

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