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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Monday, April 29, 2019


Bliss Davis, Content and Programming Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland


As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news – and what you should know about – in the past week.

1.) Satanic Temple sues Belle Plaine over withdrawn permission for monument

The Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple is suing the city of Belle Plaine, Minn., for revoking permission to erect a satanic monument, continuing almost two years of fights over free speech and religion-themed tributes in the city's Veterans Memorial Park.

"I knew this was going to be a problem," Council Member Paul Chard said Saturday. "The pot got stirred pretty quick."

Chard said he was referring not to the Satanic Temple's monument but to the city's initial acceptance in 2017 of another monument, a steel silhouette known as "Joe" that depicted a soldier kneeling before a cross. Soon, someone complained that "Joe" violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

2.) Cubs Reportedly Threatening Writers Who Criticize Suspended Shortstop Addison Russell

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is currently serving a 40-game suspension under the MLB's domestic violence policy after his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, came forward with detailed and graphic claims of his physical and mental abuse of her in 2017.

The case lingered for about a year before Russell was ultimately suspended, although, the Cubs haven't exactly responded the way you would think towards a guy who abused his wife. The team answered by tendering Russell's contract, paying him $4.3 million this season.

According to new reports though, the Cubs are taking their level of support one step further by trying to silence writers who publish articles criticizing Russell. One writer has reportedly said the Cubs have threatened him or her with reprisal. The Cubs are reportedly doing everything they can to control the narrative around the return of the 25-year-old shortstop.

3.) Critics say Missouri free speech bill would limit speech

Critics say a Missouri bill aimed at protecting student free speech on college campuses would also limit professors’ speech.

At issue is a bill by Republican Rep. Dean Dohrman to ban what are known as “free speech zones” for student expression. It calls for colleges and universities to adopt free speech policies.

The legislation also warns faculty not to talk about unrelated issues in their classes. The bill says professors couldn’t be punished unless they discuss topics that are “not reasonably germane” for a substantial portion of class.

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