Phil Romans PRO 3:27pm, 29 June 2007
From the BaltimoreSun:,0,443...

Photographs spur debate on First Amendment
Residents defend rights in downtown Silver Spring

By Kelly Brewington
Sun reporter

June 29, 2007

The snapshots seemed harmless, or so Chip Py thought.

Strolling around downtown Silver Spring on a recent afternoon, the amateur photographer began shooting the architecture of one of the city's grandest revitalization efforts -- a popular mix of shops, restaurants and outdoor gathering spaces that has transformed the once sleepy downtown area.

The photo shoot was cut short when a security guard ordered Py to stop, saying that photographs were not allowed on the private property.

Py was upset. Wasn't downtown Silver Spring, a project built with millions in city and state funds, a public space?

According to the developers and Montgomery County officials, the answer is no.

Py has since organized a group of about 250 concerned residents and consulted an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union to fight what he called an attack on his First Amendment rights.

(snipped remainder of article)
dramatic brake [deleted] Posted 11 years ago. Edited by dramatic brake (member) 11 years ago
Great read. If you want to read more about it, there's more info at

Chip is organizing a protest for the 4th of July.
miscelena PRO 11 years ago
It's a start... but there's still some areas of concern, IMO, about the revised "policy". Please do join us in the DCPhotoRights group that jrslater linked to above.
Wayan Vota PRO 11 years ago
If you've read the Baltimore Sun article, then you know that the Downtown Silver Spring developers have altered their policy to allow limited photographer access to Ellsworth Drive. That's great, but not what we're asking for.

Free Our Streets is asking for PFA Silver Spring LC to welcome photography, videography, and other filming on Ellsworth Drive, consistent with First Amendment rights as they would apply on any other public street.

The Downtown Silver Spring development includes $187 million in county and state funds and the once completely public property Ellsworth Drive, public investment that should come with public rights.

And so the Downtown Silver Spring Photo Walk is still on. A declaration of photographic freedom on July 4th.
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