PRESS RELEASE: Free Speech in McLean County


Bloomington-Normal DSA Condemns Sheriff’s Efforts to Restrict Free Speech, Reaffirm’s Commitment to Black Liberation & Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal 

BLOOMINGTON, IL –  The Bloomington-Normal chapter of Democratic Socialists of America holds firm opposition to recent attempts by McLean County officials to impose restrictions on the people’s First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble on McLean County property. Citing his personal aggravation at the increased number of public gatherings in the aftermath of the May 25th police involved murder of George Floyd, Sheriff Jon Sandage pressed members of the county board for new requirements and penalties for those who assemble on county property.     

“Make no mistake, this is an attempt to limit & discourage people from exercising their First Amendment rights in ways that have the most impact on the public. This ordinance’s requirement to register for a permit helps the government identify the leaders of protest movements, which could lead to individuals being harassed by the state. This ordinance  would allow the state to punish nonviolent protesters from letting their voices be heard in ways the state disagrees with.” – Zachary Gittrich, Bloomington-Normal DSA Member

The members of the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America  have voted unanimously to work in solidarity to achieve the demands of Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal and the Movement for Black Lives. We condemn  any attempt to restrict or regulate the people’s First Amendment guarantees in public spaces, including county property.