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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Celebrating Free Speech for My Birthday


I plan a short, peaceful vigil at the Brattleboro Post Office on my 70th Birthday.  

That should pretty much be a non-event in Brattleboro, where vigils and other expressive activity have regularly taken place on outdoor post office property for decades.  But recent threats of arrest for expressive behavior on outdoor Brattleboro Post Office property, does make this a bit special.  

Every Saturday morning for the past 12+ years, Parker Huber has stood with a sign, “Silent Witness for Peace,” from 10 until 11. Daniel Sicken has stood each Saturday from 11 to noon, with a sign, “War Is State Terrorism.” When I heard that a new postmaster had warned Parker that he must stay off of post office property with his sign or he would be arrested, I felt that affirming Brattleboro’s tradition of expressive behavior on outdoor post office property would be a good way to celebrate my birthday this year. 

Wanting to avoid unpleasant surprises, I went in to discuss my plans with the postmaster. But the discussion was not productive. I wrote a letter, among other things explaining why I think my proposed vigil is legal, and suggesting that the postmaster discuss it with counsel. Soon I was contacted by a regional manager who appreciated my desire to clarify the rules and to work things out cooperatively. She agreed that the rules do permit expressive behavior on outdoor post office property, so long as it is peaceful, and does not disrupt ingress or egress. 

In writing, she assured me that she has spoken with our local postmaster, and I need not fear arrest. On Friday, May 29th, at 1 p.m. I plan to stand, holding a brief, spiritual message, off to one side so as not to block access, on Postal Service property. 

 

Steven K-Brooks

Brattleboro 

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Free Speech Reaffirmed at the Brattleboro Post Office

My profound gratitude to everyone who came to stand with me to affirm Brattleboro's tradition of free speech at the Post Office.

Photo by Donna Faith K-Brooks 

 
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Thanks

Thank you all for standing up for what you believe in, from this display of freedom of expression all the way up to PEACE for ALL. I have always thought, who in their right mind would promote endless war, unless of course you were paid commission on every bullet shot, every bomb dropped, every missile launched, etc, etc. I mean, we spend more money on defense and national security assistance than we do on Medicare. Imagine if every year that whole $600+ billion went back into THIS country and the people in it...

 
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Long Scrolls

Good on ya, Steve. (And happy belated birthday).

I wonder what the new postmaster's attitude is toward the tall guy who walks back and forth in front of the PO carrying long scrolls.

 
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witnessed

I stopped by and saw SK-B arrive and set up, all alone. I thought a good b-day gift would be to be a witness.

Slowly and steadily, a stream of people arrived and it grew to more like what is pictured above. (There was a competing protest across the street, at TC Bank, for their role in Tar Sands money, for a little while).

Employees and patrons of the PO had birthday wishes and messages of support. SK-B was able to share correspondence to show anyone interested what the issues were.

Quite an impressive birthday celebration, and quite a nice day for it. too.

 

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