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Celebrate freedom of speech

September 2, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Recently a series of incidents have occurred where through the written press, verbal expression or other actions, attempts have been made to demean or squash freedom of expression within our community. This is not healthy.

Whether neighbors want to be heard about commercial intrusions near their residences, residents want to control the expansion of alcohol consumption along our streets and beach, or a newspaper wants to print facts about organizations that serve our businesses, our community is strongest when all opinions are respected and considered.

Why should we fear another person's perspective? When is it appropriate to subvert the truth? It is only in an open forum that educated decisions can be made that strike a balance to best and most fairly serve us all.

Let's celebrate, not denigrate, all those who rise above passive acceptance and energize our community with their voices, volunteer participation or elected service. We all benefit when diverse points of view create impassioned discussion within the decision-making processes of our community.

Let freedom ring!

Joanne Shamp

Fort Myers Beach



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