ACLU objects to potential Warwick sign ban

PROVIDENCE, RI – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it's sending a letter Monday to the Warwick City Council expressing concern about a resolution scheduled for a vote October 12th. The resolution would ban anyone from holding a sign during a city council hearing.

It was prompted by public outrage over an increase in the car tax. But ACLU Rhode Island director Steven Brown says the resolution goes too far.

"We think that that's a bad policy," says Brown. "We think it raises serious first amendment issues. We think it's clearly within the ambit of individuals attending city council meetings to be able to peacefully and quietly express their views which is all that the displaying of signs or posters is all about."

For the past two months Warwick residents have packed city council meetings to protest a hike in the car tax. The city has all but eliminated a $6,000 exemption on automobile values for tax purposes.

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