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Friday, March 10, 2006

Customers of Adult Store Intimidated

Organizer and Abilene citizen Phillip Cosby initially recruited 80 other men to join him in a 100-day campaign of picketing near the Lion's Den entrance just off Interstate 70. Today, the group has swelled to over 140 local men and women committed to one- and two-hour shifts near the store location. Cosby says the goal is a simple one: Encourage potential customers to reconsider pulling into the parking lot. CFSCV members hold large signs proclaiming to motorists, "Think Again or We Will Report." The sign warns truckers and corporate travelers that their companies and bosses will be contacted about employee activities at the porn store.

Cosby claims that they are successful, reducing customer traffic by 30% so far. I wonder how he can know that? I also wonder to what degree such attempted intimidation is or even should be "protected speech." It's one thing to say "you shouldn't go here because of..." and offer reasons. It's another, I think, to say "if you go here I'll report you to others who might take action against you." Personally, if I saw that happening, I'd go to the store and buy something just to help them out - even if I agreed that people shouldn't patronize the store.

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