Barack Obama will speak “on the urgent need for Health reform” at an event on Friday morning at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in the Patriot Center, a basketball arena seating about 10,000.
The event is apparently open to all, ensuring that opponents of the plan will be there. But the White House announcement on Facebook reads:
Just as a heads up, no signs or banners are permitted, and those who come are encouraged to limit personal items and not bring bags or purses.
What a courteous “heads up.” Not satisfied to push a bill the public opposes, and threaten to use unconstitutional means to do so, the White House now helpfully informs us our First Amendment rights are null and void.
Of course, security is important at any event where the President is present. Banning things sticks and large physical props is reasonable; disallowing signs and banners made of paper and fabric is not.
I’ve seen the sign wars firsthand. At a Town Hall meeting during August held by Rep. James Moran in northern Virginia, I was told I could not hold up my 20” X 30” sign because it was too big. I was later handed a slightly smaller sign printed by Organizing for America, Obama’s grass-roots political operation.
The White House should withdraw this offensive “heads up.” If it doesn’t, people should bring their signs, and make Obama’s speech police take them away. Cellphone cameras should be kept handy to document the event.
Doors open at 9am.
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