Washington, D.C. officials have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt this year, that they are perfectly fine with activists defacing the sidewalks with their political messages. Indeed, not only is the city fine with this graffiti, they’ve actively paid for it! Not only after George Floyd died in Minneapolis, Mayor Muriel Bowser actually commissioned artists to paint a two-block area of street with the giant words, BLACK LIVES MATTER. And when activists wanted to add to the mural with a second painting that read, DEFUND THE POLICE, Bowser was just fine with it.
But apparently, the city’s tolerance for political messages on the roads and sidewalks only extends to messages the Democratic leadership agrees with. Because when pro-life students began writing “Black preborn lives matter” in chalk on the sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, they were quickly arrested and prevented from putting their message out there.
Now Students for Life of America is suing D.C., claiming that the only difference between what they were trying to do and what BLM protesters have done lies in the content of the message – an obvious violation of their First Amendment rights.
From The College Fix:
When pro-life activists showed up early morning Aug. 1, “myriad police cars and law-enforcement officers” told them they’d be arrested if they even scribbled with “washable sidewalk chalk” on the public sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic.
SFLA and foundation staff “were prohibited from communicating their message, even though other messages are now permanently emblazoned along the streets of the District in a nearly identical format,” the suit says: “The only difference between the Plaintiffs’ desired mural and the other permitted—and permanent—murals is the content of the message.”
The suit challenges the explanation given by city agencies that the plaintiffs needed permits for their planned pro-life, pro-black mural. The activists who painted DEFUND THE POLICE – which is “visible from Google satellite view” – didn’t seek permits from the Metropolitan Police Department or Department of Transportation. (The suit includes several images of the murals from various angles.)
Call us crazy, but this lawsuit sounds like a slam-dunk. Bowser and other city Democrats lost the right to prevent activists from painting political messages on the public roads and sidewalks the very moment they authorized the earlier murals. For them to sit back and say, “Oh, well, this is okay, but this isn’t” is a blatant violation of the First Amendment, and we can’t conceive of the judge or jury who wouldn’t see it that way.
Unless, of course, “wokeness” has already infected the judiciary, in which case we’re screwed anyway.