New Protest Poster Rules

Old protest poster

Michael Neibauer reports in The Examiner:

“Under the new regulations, posters that promote a “specific event,” like a protest march or an election, may go up anytime before the event, but must come down 30 days after the event. The rules also allow anyone to affix a non-event related poster in the public space for up to 60 days, as long as it is not lewd, indecent or vulgar.”

Originally signs had to go up and come down within 60 days. Do the new regulations make more sense?

9 Comment

  • Note to yard sale people (and everyone else who tapes signs to light posts, etc.): Could you please spend the same amount of effort to take down all the darn signs you put up….the sign removal fairy doesn’t come along at night while you’re sleeping and magically remove them….

  • I agree. I generally don’t mind the sings if they’re truly temporary, but some of these organizations are notorious for NEVER taking down their posters. Last year I remember seeing some on the bases of light poles in my old neighborhood that were from 2005!

  • This is a terrible new development. Having signs up longer will only increase the likelihood they’ll never be removed. It gives posters more time to forget where they placed the signs and the signs more time to be destroyed by the weather and just become litter.

    As for election signs, are they even legal to post in public rights of way? I don’t understand why a city so desperate for revenue doesn’t institute a strict sign removal policy wherein campaigns, organizations, and individuals are charged man hours for the removal of past dated signs. How many Orange for Mayor signs were up around light posts months after he lost a primary he was never even in? There isn’t a lot of incentive for a losing campaign to remove their signs. (Anyone drive through NOVA lately? I’m looking at you, Creigh Deeds.) But if a month and a day after the election or event, campaigns were billed for the removal of every sign left up, I can tell you as someone who is familiar with campaign debt, that problem would go away.

  • Seriously. If they’re going to change the rules, they need to up the fines and make it possible to fine these types of organizations out of existence if they don’t play by the rules.

  • People! You look at this like it’s litter, forgetting that what it really and truly and importantly is is *speech.* Threads like this depress me, because of how easily we forget the importance of protecting all speech at all costs.

  • It seems that Mother Nature is the only one removing these signs.

  • Then I suppose you think that any sort of graffiti should be permissible under the grounds of free speech, regardless of whose property has been defaced in the process.

  • Do they define “public space”? I feel like this is a license to poster-up any place that someone deems public.

  • @KJM:

    A poster for an event that happened in June that’s still up in November is no longer speech. It is at this point litter. There’s a Scoop Your Poop sign down the street from me over which someone had posted an ad for a parking space. That was litter. A Chinese food restaurant put a stack of menus on the call box for my building. The wind blew them into the hedges. This was litter. And yes, around the corner from my apartment there’s a light-post with a similar sign to the one PoP posted. It was tacked up with some sort of adhesive, and while it’s no longer legible, it was when I moved to the neighborhood over a year ago. At that point it was for an event that had passed by five months earlier. So now, a year and a half after the event, what was once speech is now just trash. Is this really a distinction so hard to grasp?

    While recognizing there is a good and reasonable difference between commercial and political speech, it’s incumbent on a good citizen not to trash his country when making a point. It makes me crazy to see discarded posters and signs on the ground from tea bagger rallies and anti-war rallies alike. Just because someone has a message doesn’t give them carte blanche to trash a neighborhood.

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