1984: Enfield suppresses film – Librarians defend access to information

CTVotersCount is dedicated to voting integrity for the benefit of Connecticut voters.  Other issues are also critical to elections and democracy.  Among those are a vibrant free press and free speech – an informed electorate is as critical to democracy as voting integrity.

Enfield, Connecticut has suppressed the film “Sicko”. We are proud to see the strong response from Connecticut Librarians. Courant Article: Library Cancels Showing Of ‘Sicko’ – Move Prompts Criticism, Outcry <read>

Under pressure from the town council to either reschedule or reformat the nature of the screening, the Enfield Public Library decided to cancel its Friday showing of Michael Moore’s 2007 film “Sicko,” which is critical of the U.S. health care industry.

The decision to cancel the showing, which stemmed from a complaint by a resident, has been criticized by the Connecticut Library Association, which called the decision “an insult to our form of government” and said that the library should be a “battleground for ideas.”…

In a press release, the library association applauded the Enfield Public Library for attempting to address health care issues, and asked that the town allow the library to reschedule the movie.

“No one is forced to read a book or see a movie at the library. The residents of Enfield are responsible enough to make choices for themselves and their children,” the release states.

“If politicians in Connecticut cities and towns felt free to remove or cancel showings of materials that they didn’t like or were controversial, the basic freedom of speech rights of town residents would be denied.”

Herman said that while it is still early, the library association is already in talks with the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We’ve had discussions with ACLU Connecticut concering a wide range of things including possible legal action,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s the direction it will go, but as defenders of intellectual freedom, we are very concerned about this.”

Four years ago we were scheduled to show “Hacking Democracy” at a library, as we have done at several libraries for “Hacking Democracy”, other films, and discussions. That one time, local a election official put pressure on the head librarian to cancel the showing and the discussion. To her credit, she never considered canceling the showing. Sadly the official did not take advantage of the opportunity to attend the showing and discussion to provide her prospective – she objected that she would not be paid for attending.

Hats off to the “Constitution State” librarians and the Connecticut Library Association for defending our rights. They have done this before: NPR: Librarians Denounce Gag Order in Patriot Act Case

Update: After much criticsm, Enfield to show variety of films: Rick Green: Why Should Library Have To Do A Balancing Act On ‘Sicko’? <read>

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One response to “1984: Enfield suppresses film – Librarians defend access to information”

  1. Press Round-up | Connecticut Libraries

    […] CTVotersCount: CTVotersCount is dedicated to voting integrity for the benefit of Connecticut voters.  Other issues are also critical to elections and democracy.  Among those are a vibrant free press and free speech – an informed electorate is as critical to democracy as voting integrity. […]

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