Saturday, March 17, 2012

A protester invokes defamation law

Scroll to the end of today's SF Chron letters column for a stemwinder of a letter -- a solid lawyerly demand letter -- from attorney Joanne Warwick, who was arrested in an Occupy Oakland demonstration in January and then subjected to a court's stay-away order. She writes that an earlier op-ed by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, which basically called Occupy demonstrators criminal riff-raff, was defamatory with respect to herself. (I think this is a version of the op-ed, though the headline and least one bit of phrasing are not the same.)

I don't know the merits of the case. I do think Warwick's letter makes a good thought-provoking challenge to the lumping of demonstrators as "those people," and a good reminder that dissenters are entitled to the equal protection of all of the laws.

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