Labor Blogger and Activist Threatened, Free Speech Rights Violated

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ACLU-TN Cooperating Attorney: Bruce Kramer

The author of the blog Tennessee Labor Coverage had been covering attempts to dissolve the collective bargaining rights of Memphis sanitation workers and to privatize sanitation services. He recorded and posted videos of public events where the issue was discussed.

Various city officials began harassing the blogger for taping the events. In addition, then Mayor A.C. Wharton of Memphis stated publicly that the person behind the videos will “be dealt with.”

ACLU-TN hand delivered a letter to city officials demanding that they respect the blogger’s First Amendment rights. The letter insisted that city officials immediately stop intimidation tactics and demands to remove video of public events from the blog.

Soon after receiving our letter, the mayor’s office conceded and our client was permitted to continue his blog and videotape meetings without further government intimidation.

Status: Closed

Related Documents

Press Releases

ACLU of Tennessee Demands That the City of Memphis Cease Intimidation of Labor Activist (June 14, 2011)

Legal Documents

ACLU-TN Demand Letter (June 14, 2011)