Law students organize a nationwide silent protest day against Communications Decency Act.
Students from NYU, Harvard, Columbia, University of Washington, Michigan, Penn, William & Mary, Fordham, Boston University, Florida State University will participate.
NEW YORK--February 26, 1996--Concerned over the facially unconstitutional provisions of the recently enacted Communications Decency Act 47 U.S.C.223 et.seq. students from more than two dozen of the nation's leading law schools have organized to protest the legislation. This is the first nationally organized protest in US Law Schools since the Vietnam War.
On March 14th, students at law schools nationwide will distribute blue ribbons, and pledge to remain silent from the hours of 10:05 am to 2:05 pm to bring home the effects of censorship. Students at several schools will augment the silent protest with discussion groups and teach-ins.
More than two dozen of the nation's leading law schools are represented in the protest, including NYU, Harvard, Columbia, University of Washington, Michigan, Penn, William & Mary, Fordham, Boston University, Florida State University and others.
The movement was created by a group of students at New York University, which is serving as a national steering committee for the protest. The movement's name (Committee 451) was inspired by "Fahrenheit 451," the Ray Bradbury novel about censorship.
Former journalist Charles Glasser, a third-year law student specializing in First Amendment and Media Defense at NYU, and the organizer of the movement said that the response from law students nationwide has been outstanding. "This generation of law students is meeting the moral challenge which law school could--and should present us with. We are obligated to examine and defend our commitment to constitutional principles. Many of us feel that free speech is the freedom from which all of our other freedoms flow."
Law students are particularly upset at the facially unconstitutional overbreadth of the law. "While restricting the text and images that children are exposed to may be a compelling interest, this law hopelessly fails the "narrowly tailored" prong of strict scrutiny," said Glasser. "Any attempt to carve exceptions from the First Amendment must be done with a scalpel. This law tries to do it with a lawnmower."
Using the Internet, the Committee 451 members have been able to trade information and solicit participation from more schools. The EFF and the ACLU have agreed to post the Committee's information on their web pages prior to the protest.
For verification or more information, contact Charles Glasser, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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