posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 09:59 AM
Some of us have heard about a group in Seattle who were approved to put signs speaking out against Israeli war crimes on Seattle metro vehicles. It
appears that they have turned around and changed their policy which no longer will allow this.
Here is the link to a Seattle news outlet that explains the new developments.
The "Israeli war crimes" ad at the center of a national controversy was on display briefly Friday — but not on the side of a Metro Transit
bus. Members of the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, some with their mouths taped shut, stood in front of the King County Administration Building
in downtown Seattle holding one of the bus-sized placards while television cameras rolled. Muslim, Jewish and Christian representatives argued that
King County was violating their rights by refusing to allow the ads on buses. "You can't deny freedom of speech simply because of loud complaints
by those who oppose that speech," said attorney Neil Fox, who described himself as Jewish and a member of the National Lawyers Guild. The group
stopped short of saying it will sue, but organizer Edward Mast said the group is consulting with attorneys and the American Civil Liberties Union.
"We're hoping King County will reverse the decision," he said. "It's disturbing that the county has given in to those who want to stop free
speech with intimidation tactics." Metro Transit initially accepted the ads, which decry U.S. funding of "Israeli war crimes" and show Palestinian
children amid the rubble of bombed buildings. But Metro officials changed their minds and rejected the ads after being bombarded with objections,
including those from several Jewish organizations that feared the ads might incite anti-Semitic violence. Pro-Israel groups had proposed counter ads
featuring "Palestinian war crimes," and opposing "Islamic Jihad." King County Executive Dow Constantine said he was concerned the controversy
would lead to disruption of bus service. Mast countered: "They have demonstrated no credible claim of safety hazard." Frank Abe, spokesman for
Constantine, said the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has many outlets for exercising free speech, including the purchase of ad space elsewhere.
"It's been claimed the decision to rescind acceptance of the ad is due to public pressure," he wrote in an e-mail. "It is not." advertising
Metro's policies restrict material that can lead to harm or disrupt public transit, Abe said. "This proposed ad did not originally fit that
definition, but now falls within it because of the global firestorm over the ad." Among the thousands of comments county officials received are some
that "raise genuine concern for the functioning and safety of the transit system," Abe said, particularly the possibility of vandalism or protests
that disrupt service. The goal of the ad was to raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians, on the second anniversary of Israel's assault on
Gaza, Mast said. "We're trying to draw attention to the misspending of our tax dollars, supporting war crimes overseas" he said. Palestinian Nada
Elia said the ad is critical of foreign policy, not Jewish people. "This is not hate speech," she said. "We will not be shut up. We will keep
speaking out." The group plans a vigil and protest at the south end of Westlake Park at 5 p.m. Monday to mark the military action in Gaza.
I remember there were some mixed reactions on the other thread by wcitizen...
... but the overall view was that this was a good a good way to get
the message across.
The people who opposed this ad called it "hate speech"... we should have seen it coming, some of the posters on the other thread even said that they
think that the decision will be reversed because of pressure from the Israeli war crime supporters. I hate to say it but they were right, I should
have known better myself but I was overjoyed by the news of these advertisements going up.
This group certainly made a good effort and I thank them for at least trying... back to the drawing board