Big Goings On in Ann Arbor
Lest anyone doubt their ability to make a positive impact on exposing the Zionist project in Palestine, we send out a collective attaboy to vigil supporter BC, who singlehandedly handed the ACLU the Mother of all First Amendment cases.
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority has been accepting paid advertisements on their buses for quite some time. Many of these ads are for political purposes, e.g. campaigning for political office, promoting local churches, reminding mothers that “Breast feeding makes babies smarter”, etc. So BC asks permission from the AATA to also promote awareness of Israeli atrocities, calling for “Boycott ‘Israel’, Boycott Apartheid” signs be likewise affixed to their buses at his expense.
AATA’s response? Stonewall him! Stonewall at least ten times. And stonewall forever had not the ACLU decided to represent BC in litigation. We have in our archives BC’s sixth (stonewalled) request, which readers can view here.
In the official complaint, the ACLU claims that the AATA – a governmental agency – made their buses into traditional public forums by their acceptance and display of previous political ads, and therefore couldn’t pick and choose which ads to display and which ads to reject, based on the ad’s content. That’s a straightforward legal No-No, and perhaps explains the stonewall tactic – they knew what they were doing was illegal, and hoped no one would press the matter. But press them is just what BC did, and we look forward to a just verdict from the US District Court in Detroit.
PeaceMonger has written an excellent expose of what may be behind the AATA’s Board of Directors’ decision to back the refusal to accept BC’s ads. The post is called “Conflicts of Interest at AATA?“. Let’s hope the media picks up on this violation of the basic principles of democracy, transparency and accountability of public officials.
Just to satisfy the curious, here’s the proposed ad:
Don’t Say “Jewish Power”
This writer addressed the Michigan Student Assembly on Tuesday, November 29, on the subject of challenging Israel’s legitimacy, and observed Student Assembly representative Hayley Mandell’s sweatshirt, bearing the emblem of the Israeli Defense Force. This was an obvious affront to Iranian-born vigil supporter M, who felt obliged to give a short talk after witnessing this offensive display of foreign government nationalism. (Imagine, for effect,the reaction of Jews viewing Wehrmacht sweatshirts worn by German members of the Student Assembly in 1946).
M’s short talk was shorter than she expected. After commenting (writer’s paraphrasing) “In our midst I see a shirt emblem of an Apartheid government’s army”, AND after MSA Rep Anne Murkowski – apparently speaking (out of turn) for Ms. Mandell -expressed hurt feelings, the gavel of MSA Speaker Matt Eral came smacking down and he found M in violation of “offending the Chosen” or some such Orwellian thought crime. When M tried to defend herself, claiming that she had not named any single person, the gavel came down again and again, until M was silenced. You may imagine the disbelief felt by this writer, but we won’t say Mandell’s complaint was an exhibition of Jewish Power, because folks might think us “anti-Semitic”!
Dobrusin winner in Will Shortz Puzzle
Giving credit where it’s due, we call attention to Rabbi Rob Dobrusin’s recent success on National Public Radio (Nov. 27). Rabbi Rob was the winner of Puzzlemaster Will Shortz’s weekly on-air quiz and answered all questions put to him correctly. Lucky for him one of the questions wasn’t: “Why do you pray for a state which commits such horrific atrocities every week?”
Eight Vigilers on November 19
Eight Vigilers on November 26
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends