Pro-censorship mayor pressures billboard owner to remove political sign
By Kyle Rogers
Springville Mayor William Isley, an opponent of first amendment rights, successfully pressured a billboard owner to take down a sign. The sign is purely political in nature, protected by the first amendment of the US Constitution, and was paid for by a customer.
On Monday, January 12th, Mayor Isley publicly declared that he would “examine all legal avenues available to seek the removal of the sign.”
The sign was taken down today, January 14th. Isley indicated that the billboard owner and the owner of the land were pressured to remove the customer’s sign. Isley came to watch the sign being removed in person. He gloated about his victory other freedom of speech to media.
The owner of the billboard says he has also received threatening phone calls from anonymous people.
In theory, it is illegal for an elected official to use his office to silence the 1st amendment rights of an American citizen. However, no one is ever prosecuted anymore.
During Reconstruction, Congress passed a law making it illegal for an elected official to use his office to suppress any constitutionally protected right of US citizens. The law was aimed at protecting the rights of blacks. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan were accused of using intimidation to suppress the rights of newly freed black slaves. Now we see Mayor Isley doing the same thing that the Ku Klux Klan was accused of doing after the Civil War.
What is particularly obnoxious about Isley’s actions is the timing. We just saw the anti-free speech terrorist attack in Paris, killing 23 people, followed by an unprecedented Unity March. On January 11th, over forty world leaders marched to show their alleged support for freedom of speech. One day after this unprecedented march, when support for free speech was at an all time high, Mayor Isley declared war on freedom of speech here in the USA.
Ironically, by suppressing the free speech rights of the signs’ owner, Isley has generated massive free publicity for the sign in local media and online. The removal of the sign is the number one story in the Birmingham media market right now.
Springville, AL only has about 2,500 residents. The office of mayor is only a part time job. William Isley also runs a CPA business in Springville, AL.
You can contact William Isley at his city hall office at (205) 467-6134.