In the last issue of THE ROC we reported how members of R.O.C. were treated by the cops and officials of the Richfield Coliseum as they attempted to pass out anti-censorship materials. The incident took place at the POISON/WARRANT show on November 29th.
Since then R.O.C. has contacted the Cleveland ACLU office trying to file a complaint based on First Amendment violations. The ACLU claims that since the venue is privately owned no such case can be filed. We disagree. We base our claim on a similar case in New York where a religious group filed suit against the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was not limited to the Nassau Coliseum but "pertains to all large stadiums and arenas because such venue grounds have become public forums where First Amendment activity is protected." The key word in this ruling is "all." This court saw no difference between "public owned venues" or "private owned venues." The court in its ruling went on to say, "that large venues have become gathering, places for large segments of the population to engage in meaningful discourse."
We feel the same should apply to venues like The Coliseum here in Ohio. Despite the ACLU's apparent lack of interest in this case, R.O.C. has since consulted with a private attorney who is exploring all legal avenues.
In the meantime, R.O.C. has called for a boycott of the Richfield Coliseum. We are asking both fans & bands to support us in this effort. We only demand the right to distribute our anti-censorship materials to concert goers freely and unobstructed.
We not only intend to appeal to music fans for support, but we plan to go directly to the major bands who perform here and ask them to support us. R.O.C. has sent letters and information packets to both Geffen and Def American Records concerning this issue. Geffen artists, GUNS 'N ROSES will play here on June 4th and 5th. On June 19th Def American artists SLAYER will be at the Coliseum as part of the CLASH OF TITANS TOUR. Attempts are being made to contact Scott Ian of ANTHRAX. Due to his well known feelings about censorship R.O.C. feels he would be most interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes at this mega-venue.
How can you help us? By not attending shows at the Richfield Coliseum. We know this is a lot to ask, but if you believe in the rights of freedom of speech and support the anti-censorship struggle this is the ideal form of protest. We also urge you contact the Richfield Coliseum and let them know how you feel about this. Call them at (216) 659-9100. Ask to speak with Phyllis Salem.
Our struggle against this "corporate wasteland" has not been recognized by some Ohio press, but was recently covered in the California based ROCK & ROLL CONFIDENTIAL. Letters of support and encouragement have begun to come in from all across the country. We look forward the support of all Ohio music fans who want to help drive a stake through the heart of censorship. SMASH CENSORSHIP, BOYCOTT THE RICHFIELD COLISEUM!!!