Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The real story behind Bigfoot's freedom of speech issue
Jonathan Doyle likes to dress up like Bigfoot, run around New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, film and then interview people’s reactions to seeing him.
The State says this is a no-no until he pays for a permit and gets a $2 million insurance bond to film
Doyle, and the ACLU, says this violates his free speech rights.
An American amateur filmmaker who was barred from a state park while impersonating Bigfoot says his rights have been violated.
In 2009 Jonathan Doyle dressed up as the crypto-zoological legend and then jogged around New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock.
Afterwards he abandoned his disguise and interviewed hikers about what they’d seen.
Doyle said there’d been no complaints made to the state park service after his first bigfoot excursion: “People loved it. It was socially engaging,”
But when Doyle decided to return to the mountain on 19 September last year, Monadnock park manager Patrick Hummel brought it to the attention of his supervisor in an e-mail entitled “Bigfoot problem on Monadnock… not kidding”.
Hummel then ambushed Doyle during his next outing, telling him he was barred from filming in the park until he obtained a permit.
Amateur sasquatch Doyle’s response lawsuit is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. He claims the state’s requirement that he pay for a permit and obtain a $2 million insurance bond before filming violates his right to free speech.
“The underlying activities are humorous, but the principle’s important,” an ACLU lawyer told the Associated Press.
“We’re talking about a very small-scale activity in a very large place. We don’t believe there’s any legitimate government role in regulation.”
Posted by Shawn at 4/05/2011 04:56:00 PM