Brookfield, Vermont, July 28, 2020: Republican gubernatorial challenger John Klar has condemned the lack of fair government protection of free speech rights in Vermont. Attorney Klar, who has fought free speech and equal protection cases in federal courts, declares that Vermont’s government, and Governor Scott, have diminished Free Speech and other liberties in Vermont, in an overtly partisan violation of fundamental free speech principles.
John Klar said today: “Governor Scott stated that COVID restrictions would not be enforced against BLM protesters because they were exercising a constitutional right. This is absolutely true, and as Governor I will support the right of BLM and others to protest without organized interference or physical intimidation from opposing voices. I will equally protect the rights of supporters of police to have their peaceful voices heard on public property. But I will not tolerate disruptions of the Legislature, or blocking of roads, or other actions that are NOT protected free speech.
Democracy requires the full and fair exchange of competing views. Drowning out the voices of those with whom one disagrees is not democracy -- it is the collapse of democracy. Not in Vermont!!.
I call upon Governor Phil Scott to condemn Saturday’s disruption, and explain why our citizens were left unprotected when it was known there might be conflict, and even as tensions escalated. How will Governor Scott assure Vermonters that he will prevent a recurrence of this embarrassing harassment?”
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