Only about 30 people apparently cared enough about free speech to show up Saturday for the “This is F------ B---S--- Rally” near the Brighton Mill Pond, where a Brighton teenager was slapped a $200 ticket for cursing.
Officials worried about foul language during the rally, and some F-bombs did fly when some passing motorists signaled their displeasure, The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports. They also waved signs proclaiming their right to use the F-word whenever they want.
Organizer James Weeks II, a Libertarian candidate for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, said he was “honestly disappointed” at the turnout. About 120 people had indicated on his Facebook page that they would attend.
Colin Andersen, the 19-year-old who was ticketed under the city’s disorderly conduct statute, said he hoped the rally sent a message to Brighton police.
“Stop targeting us,” he told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus. “Stop writing us tickets — stupid unlawful tickets that shouldn’t even be written in the first place for breaking no laws.”
Weeks wants the the city return Andersen’s $200, along with another $200 for inconvenience.
“I’d like to get the city of Brighton to stand up and realize that free speech is an important issue,” he told the newspaper. “It’s really a sign of a larger issue of a growing control issue in America where you can’t even question authority without being slapped with a fine.”
Several Brighton residents interviewed by the newspaper said the rally did not represent the values of local residents and showed a lack of respect for adults.Pam McConeghy, the president and CEO of the Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, said the rally was “low class” and a “dud.”