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GOP Reps. Greene and Gaetz sue Anaheim and Riverside for free speech rights

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The cities of Riverside and Anaheim are facing a lawsuit filed by GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz on the grounds of free speech infringement.

The two, known for their far-right viewpoints, had plans to hold rallies in 2021 in both cities but were denied.

Lawsuit documents state, "The cancellation of these events based on the speakers' viewpoints is a clear violation of well-settled law concerning the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as incorporated and made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution."  

Three separate attempts to hold "America First" rallies were canceled by Southland venues. Organizers ultimately held an impromptu rally outside Riverside City Hall back in July 2021.

A city of Anaheim spokesperson said back in 2021 that security concerns caused the cancellation at a private venue in Anaheim, but that the owner made the decision, not the city.

The event was also canceled at two previous venues, in Laguna Hills, and at the Riverside Convention Center.

"They may try to shut down our venues, but we will take this fight to them in the courts, in the halls of Congress and if necessary, in the streets," said Gaetz in 2021.

"Defendants conspired to deprive Plaintiffs and their prospective audience members of their civil rights to be free from viewpoint discrimination when they canceled or compelled the cancellation of the contracts for PLAINTIFFS to hold their events," filed court documents state.   

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