Jun. 20, 2011  

Fort Lauderdale ‘Lunch-in’ was Only a Partial Battle

On Friday, June 17, SPJ South Florida Pro joined forces with South Florida Gay News to challenge Fort Lauderdale’s ban on photography around the area of the filming of Rock of Ages.

For weeks, the city enforced a ban on all photography – amateur and professional –around the movie set, which is currently in the Himmarshee District of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Read our official press release.

Over the course of the past week, journalists, activists, and First Amendment supporters from across the country have all expressed their support. Our Twitter followers stayed with us as we posted photos of police officers telling us we can’t cross public streets and when they wouldn’t answer our questions about the city’s ban on photography.

We heard from supporters in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Oregon and Washington State. Some even traveled from around the state to participate in our casual “lunch-in.” Our participants, some who were simultaneously being covered by their employers in the local media, ranged from college students to veteran journalists – all of whom came together to protect the First Amendment. Check out our Facebook photo album and read the full review on our president’s blog. Watch the video of Friday’s gathering by Carlos Miller.

Up next, South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent will attend an emergency injunction on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale in hopes a judge will restrict police from banning photography on public property.

Update: June 20, 1:41 pm

Attorney Norm Kent has secured an emergency hearing before Judge Towbin-Singer today at 3:30 pm, where he’ll ask for an injunction against the City of Fort Lauderdale’s photo ban downtown. Room 1020A in the North Tower (security will direct you at check-in).

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