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Pamela Geller

Transportation Nation

MTA Votes to Ban Political Ads

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Over the objections of some public speakers — as well as some board members — the MTA changed its policy so it could reject controversial ads.
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Transportation Nation

Court Ruling Leads MTA to Propose Banning Political Ads Altogether

Monday, April 27, 2015

In the past couple of years, the MTA has had as many court cases dealing with free speech as it has had fare hikes. Now, it wants to accept only viewpoint-neutral ads.
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Transportation Nation

Pro-Tolerance Ads Begin Appearing In NYC Subway

Friday, October 05, 2012

Dueling NYC subway ads. (Photo courtesy of United Methodist Women)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Three religious groups -- two Christian and one Jewish -- have decided to fight speech with speech in the clamor over a controversial subway ad. Pro-Muslim ads from those groups have begun showing up in the New York City subway -- in some cases, cheek by jowl with an ad that equates the the word "jihad" with savages.

Harriet Olson, CEO of United Methodist Women, said she and her colleagues objected to the original ad and wanted to counter it with a "visual response." So her group matched the anti-jihad group's $6,000 ad buy for posters in ten Manhattan subway stations. “We think that respectful dialogue is absolutely important and that the work for peace is very difficult," she said in an interview with TN, before referring to the anti-jihad ad: "incendiary speech is not the way to get there.”

Jim Wallis of Sojourners, a Christian social justice group, said he was similarly offended by the original ad.  "As a rabbi wrote in The New York Times last week, this ad may be legal but it's wrong and repugnant," he said.  The Sojourners ad reads simply, "Love your Muslim Neighbors."

It will begin appearing on Monday, as will a separate pro-Muslim ad by Rabbis for Human Rights. That message reads:  “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.”

Rabbi Jill Jacobs is the executive director for the group, which includes 1,800 rabbis. "We want it to be clear that the Jewish community doesn't support this de-humanization of an entire group of people, but rather the Jewish community values working in partnership with our Muslim neighbors," she said.

After the original ad caused an outcry, including a rowdy confrontation at a New York MTA board meeting last week, the MTA considered banning so-called issue ads from its properties. The authority decided instead to put a disclaimer on some ads that express political, religious or moral views. The disclaimer would read that the ad “doesn’t imply an endorsement” by the MTA. The pro-Muslim ad by United Methodist Women does not include a disclaimer.

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Transportation Nation

(AUDIO) NY MTA Votes To Keep Taking Controversial Ads -- With Disclaimer

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pamela Geller defending her anti-jihad subway ads during the public session of the MTA meeting (photo by Jim O'Grady)

The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority has voted to keep accepting "issue ads," with a disclaimer that the ad "doesn’t imply an endorsement." The authority will only put disclaimers on ads expressing political, religious or moral views.

(You're safe, Dr. Zizmor.)

The agency's monthly board meeting got a bit rowdy during the public comment session on Thursday, thanks to a controversial ad in the  subway that equates the word 'jihad' with 'savages.'

Many came to speak because the MTA had let it be known that it might vote to ban all issue ads in the subway. That brought out a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors, who criticized the anti-jihad ads. Seth Rosenberg echoed several speakers when he called the ads "racist, anti-Muslim and vile to the core."

Pamela Geller, the woman who paid $6,000 to place a month's worth of ads in ten Manhattan subway stations, was there to defend her investment."The reason why these ads were run, so we have just a little context, is there were a series of anti-Israel ads that were running in the subway," she said.

Geller was referring to subway ads bought last year by a group called Two People One Future. Those ads said, "We are the side of peace and justice ... End U.S. military aid to Israel."

Though Geller said she found the Two People One Future ads offensive, she "didn't deface them." That was a pointed reference to to the fate of her own ads -- which, soon after their appearance on Monday, were affixed with stickers reading "Hate Speech."

When members of Occupy Wall Street tried to drown out Geller as she spoke at the meeting, NY MTA chairman Joe Lhota ordered the protestors removed.

Advertising produces one percent of the MTA's yearly revenue. And issue ads make up one percent of that - a total that comes to $1.3 million out of the MTA's annual budget of $1.2 billion.

You can see a photo of the ad below.

(photo by Jim O'Grady)

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WNYC News

Protesters For And Against Brooklyn Mosque Converge on Sheepshead Bay

Sunday, March 13, 2011

About 120 demonstrators gathered in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to protest a proposed mosque that opponents argue will dramatically alter the quality of life in the neighborhood. The protest, organized by about 80 supporters of the mosque, was within shouting distance of a counter-protest and drew locals and nationally prominent critics of Islam.

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It's A Free Country ®

Rep. King Hearing on Muslim Extremism: The Guest List

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

WNYC

»» WNYC's Arun Venugopal is live-blogging the hearings from Washington DC Thursday morning

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is set to hold a long-awaited (and for some, long-lamented) hearing on Muslim extremism in the United States Thursday. Specifically, the hearing will focus on what relationship, if any, exists between radical Islamists, American mosques and other domestic Muslim organizations.

Leading up to this week's hearings, a pro-Muslim demonstration was held in New York City on Sunday, where King was vilified for his insistence on such a hearing. However, another demonstration in favor of King's hearing was held at the same time, during which protesters said it was time for an inquiry into the activities of Muslim Americans.

The list of attendees for the Thursday hearing was released to the public on Monday. Here's a look at who is slated to speak.

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WNYC News

Park51 Proponents, Opponents Plot Their Next Moves

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For those who consider Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf the embodiment of evil -- a wily terrorist sympathizer bent on bringing "stealth jihad" to the United States -- the sight of him in a light blue cashmere sweater may feel incongruous. But these days, the imam seems a lot more relaxed than he did this summer, at the height of the furor over Park 51.

WNYC News

Park 51 Opponents Cancel Protest

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

As noted last week, opponents of Park 51 were planning to hold their first protest in months on Tuesday. The protest was meant to be held in a committee room at 250 Broadway, during a City Council hearing on Wal-Mart. But last week, that hearing was postponed until January 12, so the Park 51 protest has also been put off.