(US-ut) 'Free-speech zone' is halted by court ruling
- Animal-rights activists won the right to spread their message during
the final two days of Taylorsville's annual city celebration.
During an emergency hearing Friday, the same day the Utah Animal
Rights Coalition filed a complaint against the city, Judge Bruce
Jenkins ruled in favor of UARC, allowing a temporary restraining order
halting the city's use of a "free-speech zone" at the Taylorsville
Dayzz festival in Valley Regional Park.
City officials can limit protests and activism to free-speech zones on
public land for safety, traffic flow or crowd control when the
activists have a history of or potential for violence at an event,
according to the complaint.
But UARC had no violent history, according to Brian Barnard, UARC's lawyer.
At this year's Taylorsville Dayzz celebration, UARC activists greeted
passers-by and offered a "Why Vegan?" pamphlet, two members testified.
Aaron Lee and Krista Stoker said they engaged those who were
responsive and said, "Have a nice day" to those who weren't.
The brochures include photos of cattle, chickens and other livestock
in factories and slaughterhouses. One cow pictured hangs upside down
after its throat was slit. The materials were given to two or three
other children in the company of their parents, Stoker said, noting
many people at Taylorsville Dayzz agreed with what they were doing.
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