The Sanctuary for Independent Media has filed a Notice of Claim against the City of Troy. From Jim Franco's article:
The New York Civil Liberties Union formally filed a notice of claim against the city on behalf of artist Wafaa Bilal, who attempted to open a controversial exhibit at the Sanctuary for Independent Media.
On March 11 the day the exhibit — called “Virtual Jihadi” which is a video game where the objective is to track down and kill President Bush — was to open, the city closed down the sanctuary for code violations. The lawsuit, when filed will attempt to show the city violated Bilal’s civil rights.
“Wafaa Bilal would like city officials in Troy to understand that artistic expression is protected, no matter how offensive its officials may find it,” said Melanie Trimble, director of the NYCLU’s Capital District chapter. “The NYCLU will always defend artists from government suppression.”
The matter could have been averted by a simple apology from the Mayor. Now, Troy will face a lawsuit and probably pay an outside law firm a significant fee to defend Troy's clamp-down on free speech. Since it's a Civil Rights action the big fear is always attorney's fees. Those can be substantial. In a recent lawsuit against the Averill Park School District, for a Freedom of Speech violation, fees amounted to over $500,000.
A shake-up in the TPD as violent crime makes some headlines.
Democratic congressional candidate Phil Steck announced today that he supports imposing a windfall profit tax on oil companies, which would help to combat the rising cost of gas at the pump. Steck pointed to H.R. 6000, which was recently introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and is supported by over 60 members of the House, as legislation that is taking big oil interests head on.
“Big oil companies are gouging the American public,” said Steck. “For far too long, lobbyists have been stopping progress and stifling real energy reform. We need Congress to act right now to end this oil company profiteering.”
Steck also said that H.R. 6000, known as the “Gas Price Spike Act,” includes tax credits for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles and provides federal funding to improve mass transit. Steck said that the individual tax credits for energy efficient vehicles would be worth between $3500 and $6000.