Despite Simon & Schuster’s decision to cave to public pressure and cancel their book contract with Milo Yiannopoulos, the infamous internet troll has pressed on. Not only did he publish Dangerous elsewhere, but Yiannopoulos is also suing his former publisher for backing out on a contract reportedly worth $250,000. What’s more, the self-published author and former Breitbart tech editor has been flooding Washington D.C.’s transit system with advertisements for the memoir cum political manifesto. Yet Metro was quick to block Yiannopoulos’ ads and those of many others, prompting a lawsuit from the ACLU.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the ACLU’s Wednesday filing in federal court objects to Metro’s decision to block ads by Yiannopoulos, an abortion provider called Carafem, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and themselves. Yet what seems like a rather eclectic collection of plaintiffs shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone familiar with the ACLU’s practices, as the legal organization typically files civil rights lawsuits on behalf of all kinds of people sporting a variety of beliefs — even offensive ones. As ACLU attorney Lee Rowland put it, “It is important to defend speech we hate, because that means the 1st Amendment tide rises for all of us.”
As for Yiannopoulos, who has criticized the ACLU in the past, he told the Los Angeles Times via text message that he was “glad that the ACLU has decided to tackle a real civil rights issue.” He stressed what he perceived to be their past errors, saying the group has boasted “plenty of bad causes in the past,” but added “they are also often in the right” with what they do. “Free speech isn’t about only support (sic) speech you agree with, it is about supporting all speech — especially the words of your enemies,” he concluded. “Strong opponents keep us honest.”
(Via Los Angeles Times)