The following was submitted by Collin Dias of the Fall River First Amendment Coalition:
On September 22nd, The Fall River City Council had taken steps and now threatens to take additional steps to censor and limit citizens’ input of members of the public. Members of the Council mischaracterized a September 22nd professionally worded citizen’s input critical of the job performance of the city’s CFO, along with other issues as “Slander”. Several members of the council were also quick to criticize the input and suggested ideas of disallowing future written input or even limiting what an individual can talk about during an in-person input. The Council President will now be reviewing all future written citizens’ input, and will censor out parts of or will completely disregard said input from being read out loud during the meeting if the input does not agree to the Council President’s standards.
In response to the Council’s clear attempts of a breach of an individual’s 1st amendment right to freedom of speech in a public forum, there will be a protest outside of the Fall River Government Center 5 PM on October 13th. Social distancing and masks will be required, and gloves and sanitizer will be provided to attendees. At 6 PM, for those who wish to attend can join us at the Fall River City Council meeting and sign up for citizens’ input and ask the council to not bridge the rights of Freedom of Speech for citizens’ input. For those who may not be available to join, can submit citizens’ input to City_Council@Fallriverma.org and address the input to the October 13th Fall River City Council meeting.” Those who attend the City Council meeting must follow all of the council’s rules to mask-wearing, sanitizer, and social distancing.