Mad River Union
HUMBOLDT BAY, APRIL 1 – The local chapter of the American CIvil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against activist and former Arcata City Councilmember and bay billboard-tilter-atter Dave Meserve,.
The civil rights guardians contend that Meserve’s efforts to get billboards removed along the U.S. Highway 101 corridor between Arcata and Eureka infringes upon the free speech of CBS/Outfront and other billboard companies.
The ACLU filing states, “By calling upon the billboard owner to tear down their billboard, Mr. Meserve’s campaign seeks to coerce CBS/Outfront into giving up its right to free speech, thus violating the spirit of the First Amendment.”
The ACLU also filed an accompanying lawsuit against CBS/Outfront for removing the signs erected by Meserve, stating, “The forcible removal of the signs illegally placed by Mr. Meserve in the public right of way violates Mr. Meserve’s right to free speech.”
The ACLU also erected its own mini-billboards, calling for the protection of the other billboards.
When asked whether the ACLU would remove their billboards after the lawsuits are settled, ACLU spokesman Peter Martin said “To do that would violate the ACLU’s right to free speech. Then we’d have to sue ourselves.”