First Amendment

Rev. Billy Preaches Free Speech


A faux preacher who uses a megaphone to rail against consumerism outside Manhattan businesses is running into trouble with the law.

The man who calls himself the Rev. Billy shouts that Mickey Mouse is the Antichrist and warns that Wal-Mart is part of a consumer axis of evil, the Los Angeles Times reports. His most recent arrest stems from a message bound to warm the heart of any civil liberties lawyer: the text of the First Amendment, in this case intoned through a megaphone during a bicycle rally.

Norman Siegel, former head of the New York American Civil Liberties Union, represents the reverend, whose real name is Bill Talen. “Rev. Billy has a First Amendment right to recite the First Amendment,” Siegel told the newspaper.

The Rev. Billy has also run into trouble with the law in California for his campaign against Starbucks. A judge has ordered him to stay more than 250 yards away from any of the coffeeshops.

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