SANTA CRUZ PRIDE: First Amendment Free Zone?

The Bay Area Intactivists marched in the Santa Cruz Pride Parade today and found themselves immediately embroiled in controversy for taking pictures of one of their members innocuously holding a protest sign in front of a group representing the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ever since the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation ballot measure went down in flames with the support and encouragement of the ACLU, they have been a special favorite for targeted protest among some of us here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The affront is that the ACLU is all for the civil liberties and presumably human rights of little girls born to Muslim cultures that believe in female circumcision, but completely change their tune when it comes to American infant boys. Female genital mutilation must not be tolerated, but the male version is a religious right, according to their logic.

During the incident today, Santa Cruz Pride sent their rent-a-cops over to intimidate the intactivists when the ACLU complained of their presence. The rent-a-cops told them that they were not allowed to take pictures as the ACLU and the rent-a-cops were “private.” I pointed out that the ACLU and Pride generally were in a public place participating in a public event, bringing my desire to document the event under the protection of the highest law in the land, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. They disagreed, but were unable to cite any authority to support their position.

I encourage readers to ask the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz, which sponsors and organizes the Santa Cruz Pride events, why they felt it necessary to try and stop pictures from being taken at their event. I would also encourage readers to contact the Santa Cruz Chapter of the ACLU and ask them how they feel about being party to suppression of political speech and the dissemination of said speech in these circumstances.


Intactivists stopped from taking pictures and asked to move away from the ACLU during Santa Cruz Pride Parade (Click on image for larger view)

UPDATE: Another image of private security intimidating intactivists below. It didn’t work.


Private security moves into position to protect several ACLU locals from a guy holding a sign at Santa Cruz Pride (Click on image for larger view)


About David Wilton

fronterizo, public defender, intactivist, gay
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3 Responses to SANTA CRUZ PRIDE: First Amendment Free Zone?

  1. Thank you! The ACLU people are the biggest hypocrites!

  2. I still can’t get my head around the ACLU support for forced circumcision. The right to own the body you inhabit is the most profound of all civil liberties. It’s why we banned slavery – and perhaps more pertinently why we banned rape in marriage. Someone’s dependency on you does not confer a right to do as you wish with their body.

  3. James Loewen says:

    Shame on the ACLU for supporting genital cutting of children. Thanks to Bay Area Intactivists for their ongoing work for children’s rights to body integrity.

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