Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Speak out for free speech

Meet Joseph Yamrus of Northampton County. One of our recent clients, Mr. Yamrus is a 64-year-old retired trucker and Army veteran who doesn't like politicians talking about troop withdrawal while we're at war. He decided to demonstrate his feelings by flying his flag upside down - a recognized sign of distress. (You can guess where this is going.) Sure enough, he was charged with "insulting" the US flag.

ACLU volunteer attorney Gary Asteak represented Mr. Yamrus, and the district attorney dropped the charges. (More on the case can be found here and here.)

But now Mr. Yamrus – who lives alone with his wife – is being harassed by unidentified people who have stolen his flag (he replaced it), who make prank phone calls, and who drive by the house screaming insults and obscenities at this retired couple. It takes a lot of bravery to stand up and demand one's rights. It is an act of cowardice to harass an old retired couple with anonymous phone calls and screamed obscenities.

You can write a letter to the local papers in the Lehigh Valley to express your support for Josephy Yamrus and his stand for freedom of speech. You can send letters to the editor to the Morning Call (Allentown) at letters@mcall.com or to the Express-Times (Easton) through this form.



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