TURF sues City of San Antonio for infringement of Free Speech City denied TURF permits to hang banners above roadways
San Antonio, TX – On Monday, January 5 at 2:30 PM, United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez will hear TURF’s motion for a temporary restraining order and motion for a preliminary injunction against the City of San Antonio for denying TURF permits to hang two banners in the public right of way, which TURF believes is a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Through TURF’s efforts to inform the public about the gas tax original plan for 281 and the recall of pro-toll, flip-flopper District 8 Councilwoman Diane Cibrian, it applied for permits from the City of San Antonio to place banners above the roadways at key locations. TURF was originally granted permission only to have that permission later rescinded once the higher-ups at the City caught wind of TURF’s banner messages: one directing people to the www.281OverpassesNow.com web site and the other to the www.RecallDiane.com web site. One of the banners had already been made at a cost of nearly $700!
WHO: The concerned citizens of TURF
WHAT: Hearing for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the City of San Antonio for violation of citizens’ Free Speech
WHERE/WHEN: Judge Xavier Rodriguez’ courtroom on Monday, January 5 at 2:30 PM in Courtroom 3 on the first floor of the John Wood United States Courthouse at 655 E. Durango Blvd.
“Clearly, the City of San Antonio has no respect for Free Speech nor fair treatment of ALL groups, regardless of their make-up or message. The City denied our banners simply because it disagrees with the message of toll opponents. We the people own the public right of way, and the First Amendment protects the citizens from government gag orders on speech. We hope the court will right this wrong and allow our banners to be hung,” states TURF Founder, Terri Hall.
The City claims the speech/message of the banners is “controversial” and therefore the legal basis for its denial; however, the statute gives the City no such authority to deny permits based on content, which violates of the citizens’ First Amendment rights in the U.S. Constitution.