Saturday, May 28, 2011

Free Speech in Baltimore's Inner Harbor Festival Marketplace

Today's Baltimore Sun reports on an ongoing controversy over the rights of protestors to leaflet in Baltmore's Inner Harbor.  The ACLU of Maryland sued the City over First Amendment rights on the promenade surrounding the harborside shops and restaurants.  Eight years later, the parties are still negotiating over permitted activities on the Inner Harbor's " hidden patchwork of quasi-private and public spaces."  

The article made me wonder what Jim Rouse, creator of this and many other open-air shopping malls called festival marketplaces, would have to say were he still alive.  So much of his work in developing Columbia, Md. and the Enterprise Foundation was aimed at social inclusion.   Yet, free speech controversies are not necessarily resolved by such singlemindedness.  

I recommend you check out perspectives outside the U.S. from Nicholas Blomley (British Columbia) and our former guest blogger Antonia Layard (Bristol, UK).

Jim K.

Downtown, First Amendment, Property Rights | Permalink

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