“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.“
It seems so easy to understand, yet I doubt any amendment causes both the government or the people of the United States more consternation. It’s the amendment for which we should be most proud – and the one we should most vigorously defend.
For those of us in book publishing – and even more specifically all of us involved in self publishing – the First Amendment is critical to our ability to let our authors speak to the world through the power of the printed book.
Listening to to the news each day – whether about the oil spill in the Gulf or the war in Afghanistan has demonstrated how delicate a balance we strike with our First Amendment rights – and how often we take them for granted. The Associated Press reported, “journalists covering the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have been yelled at, kicked off public beaches and islands and threatened with arrest …” Now we hear stories from Afghanistan through ‘leaked’ documents how tremendously challenging open communication with our government can be – and how we often don’t get the whole story.
Dog Ear Publishing would like to make everyone aware of the opportunity to support the 1 for All campaign that launches with the simple goal of building greater awareness about our First Amendment. Dog Ear is proud to join more over 1,000 media outlets in partnering with 1 for All.
I’d also like to invite any U.S. resident to enter the “How Free Can You Be?” contest at 1 for All – submit photos, videos and stories that demonstrate our First Amendment liberties at work. Then, please tag any blog posts you create on the topic with “First Amendment.” Thanks to WordPress.com for being a special sponsor and host of the 1 for All blog.