The following news item gave me unwanted anti-Free Speech flashbacks to my days as an editor at my conservative hometown’s alt-weekly.
It seems that a West Roxbury lawyer has organized a non-profit group of concerned citizens he calls Support Community Decency, Inc.
What’s the SDC’s first plan of action? To eradicate the Boston Phoenix from West Roxbury, calling the alt-weekly’s adult section "indecent, sexually exploitative and potentially harmful to community members."
Bob Joyce, founder of the group and an outspoken anti-gay activist, tells the West Roxbury Bulletin that he’s not an Orwellian evildoer.
"This is not a freedom of speech issue, since we are not deciding whether or not this material is obscene," Joyce insists. ""We are saying that it is indecent, sexually exploitative, and has potential to cause significant harm, physical and emotional, to West Roxbury families. We have a right to oppose the distribution of the Boston Phoenix in a lawful, peaceful way."
Based on the lynch mob he’s organized—a group that’s actively soliciting West Roxbury businesses asking them to toss the popular weekly newspaper—Joyce means business.
However, Phoenix Media executive editor Peter Kadzis warns that the curmudgeon’s motivations are purely political.
"Attorney Joyce is active in the anti-choice, anti-gay marriage movements," Kadzis tells the Transcript. "He is trying to halt the Phoenix from circulating for political reasons. His recent crusade against the paper's adult section is merely an extension of those efforts."
Meanwhile, Joyce claims he has managed to yank the weekly from six neighborhood businesses with one merchant who talked to the West Roxbury Bulletin refusing to go along with the SDC's totalitarian demands.
"As far as I know, West Roxbury is still part of the United States of America and the Constitution still covers us over here," says Gary Park of Gary's Liquors. "He is not going to tell me how to run my business."