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Protester Case – The Canton Four

In 1927 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts executed Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. History has shown that they were framed, and the Commonwealth has at least acknowledged that they did not get a fair trial.

Nearly a century later, in the same courthouse where the Commonwealth gave itself an indelible stain of shame, there is another trial that has many hallmarks of government impropriety and corruption. Citizens have a right to call attention to that fact. Citizens have a right to protest. Citizens have a right to stand on the side of the road holding a sign that says “JUSTICE” without being harassed or prosecuted.

In Canton, MA a group of people wanted to protest. The government didn’t want them to, so they abused the witness intimidation statute. We filed an appeal on their behalf. (here The appendix to the appeal is here.

This photo is the group of protesters.  The government threatened them with action if they did not cease.  We sought an injunction from the lower court, which was skeptical that the authorities would even take action.  Right after the lower court denied our request for protection, they arrested them.

We can not live in a free society if the right to protest is not protected.  This is sacrosanct.  The lower court made a mistake, and we hope that the First Circuit court of appeals corrects that mistake.  The court has a binary choice – it must either pronounce that the First Amendment is not in effect when the government is embarrassed, or that it is in full effect at all times.

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