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About 60 protest swearing rules

June 26, 2012 at 3:05 PM

MIDDLEBORO, Mass., June 26 (UPI) -- About 60 people gathered in a Massachusetts city to protest a bylaw allowing police to fine people who use profanities in public.

Protest organizer Adam Kokesh, 30, a Marine veteran, led the crowd Monday in repeating curses and flashing their middle fingers to protest the Middleboro bylaw, which was passed 183-50 at a town meeting this month, The (New Bedford) Standard-Times reported Tuesday.

"I'd like to open up this megaphone now as an open mic to let anybody who wants to take the stage join me here and give the town of Middleboro, Mass., a piece of their [expletive] mind," Kokesh told the crowd.

"We disagree with the idea that the government should be regulating our speech in this way because it's an individual and family matter," said Middleboro resident Debbie Lafond, 38, who was accompanied at the demonstration by her 4-year-old son. "If they can regulate this, what's next?"

Police said they did not receive any complaints about Monday's protest. They said the bylaw is still in the process of being approved by the state attorney general, so any fines would have had to have been issued under a 1968 bylaw, which requires a court appearance for obscene language.

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