Free Our Streets Continued Success

Twenty days ago, over 140 photographers gathered in Downtown Silver Spring, motivated to declare photographic freedom, the visualization of their First Amendment rights on Ellsworth Drive.

photographic protest

This public street, leased to PFA Silver Spring LC and the Peterson Companies for $1 per year, and according to those very same developers, restricted to approved actions and activities, was off-limits to casual photographers like Chip Py.

On July 4th, 2007, it became free for all to digitize, even Flickr-ize when the developers changed their policy to reduce photographic restrictions. On July 5th, real change, not a policy statement, came to the Ellsworth Drive debate. First the Press got involved and then, just last week, the bomb dropped.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett wrote to PFA Silver Spring and Peterson Companies to express his opinion on the matter. An opinion that perfectly mirrors the Free Our Streets goal:

“The county considers Ellsworth [Drive] to be a public forum permitting the free and unfettered exercise of First Amendment rights by residents of the county and its visitors to the same extent as those rights are exercisable by residents and visitors to the county on any public sidewalk or public street within the county,”

No word yet on PFA Silver Spring’s reaction, but both Chip Py and I bet there’s freedom of speech at Peterson Companies headquarters this week!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

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