Sign of the Times
because the stuff that's been showing up at state capitol these days is
"Curb the Nerd", "Send Gov. Rick Engler to China," etc. etc.
However the only place you can view the art work is outside the
building. If you attempt to bring them into the capitol, you are
supposedly breaking the law.
"No Signs In the Capitol" the sign on the door reads. And
during the rash of rallies recently, all the demonstrators dutifully
dropped their prose at the door.
"The Capitol Rotunda is a public place," advises the Michigan
ACLU legal eagles in a Free Speech opinion that seems to make some
Actually there is no "Law" per se that bans the signs; it's been
a rule for years imposed by the Capitol Committee composed of lawmakers.
Lost in the reporting of this sign ban is the reason behind it.
It's not that anyone wants to abridge your rights to protest inside,
the overriding concern is to avoid damage to the joint.
The folks who oversee the building know that if you bring in a
poster on a stick, somehow that stick will scratch the walls, might
damage the floor, might crack the paint, or what not.
The capitol committee supposedly will revisit the issue. They
do so with vivid images of what happened in Wisconsin. Maybe you heard
"The capitol is a working museum," they like to say around here
and to avoid costly repairs, you are told to stick you stick at the
The ACLU is standing by to see what the committee does...if
Oh yeah. No meeting has been scheduled, yet which could spawn
thisprotest: Ban the Nerd. Not My Sign.