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Hateful bus ads are free speech
San Francisco Examiner
An offensive and bigoted advertising campaign about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now running on Muni buses. Yet despite the repulsive nature of these advertisements, they must be allowed to run to protect the advertiser's free-speech rights.
A few weeks ago, signs appeared on 10 Muni buses that said, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad." The American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization so extreme it has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, purchased the ads. The group is led by Pamela Geller, a blogger and writer who defended the campaign by noting the message is protected by the First Amendment.
And as much as we disagree with the content of her ads, we agree with Geller that the message is protected speech and that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, should not block this message or others like it in the future.
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