By Ted Slowik
A Naperville woman and a Downers Grove man are charged with reckless conduct and other misdemeanors for standing on a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 355 and displaying a banner that read, "Impeach Bush and Cheney - LIARS." Is this a case of a peaceful protest or did they put lives in danger by distracting drivers?
Journalists love to champion First Amendment causes, and this case is no exception. Regardless of your feelings about the war, I don't think they should be prosecuted for exercising their rights to free speech.
During the demonstration on May 6, the protestors took down the banner when police showed up and asked them to. End of demonstration. Weeks later, they were arrested. This should be a case of no harm, no foul. How could the banner be any more distracting than the giant signs that say, "THIS TOLLWAY BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH," or something like that.
Do you agree? If not, why do you think the protestors ought to be prosecuted?