Thursday, September 20, 2012
Another Bonus: Mikael and Malcolm
Mikael Roldsgaard Nielsen
A nice little victory for free speech on the campus of Malcolm X College this morning. It was two weeks ago that I was escorted off this campus in the back of a police car. We were simply leafleting in a peaceful manner, not blocking foot traffic or any doors. Several discussions with security and staff about us just exercising our First Amendment right fell on deaf ears. I stood my ground, but things turned nasty when one of the staff members stole my leaflets and a key chain and then called the cops, who said I was trespassing and away I went in the back of their squad car. Big thanks to Joseph T. Espinosa, Jack Norris, the VeganOutreach legal team, and Vandhana Bala, MFA's General Counsel, for helping me figure out the next steps. After many emails back and forth with administration and a pleasant conversation with their head of security, I went back on campus this morning. Mind boggling as it was, they initially said I was not allowed to leaflet (the message from the top security guy must not have filtered down), but I said that I was going to leaflet 15 feet from the door, per my agreement with the head of security, and that is just what I did. I got out almost 400 leaflets in about two hours and security didn't bother me once. Seems the First Amendment is back in business on this campus.