A Boston mayor who trampled on a religious group’s right to freedom of expression. A Worcester city manager who trampled on the public’s right to know about police misconduct. A New Hampshire state legislator who trampled on teachers’ rights by demanding that they take a “loyalty oath” promising not to teach their students about racism.
These are just a few of the winners of the 2022 New England Muzzle Awards.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Muzzles, a Fourth of July roundup of outrages against freedom of speech and of the press in the six New England states. Conceived of by the noted civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate and inspired by the Jefferson Muzzles, they were published by the late, lamented Boston Phoenix for many years and have been hosted by GBH News since 2013.
Reaching the 25-year mark is gratifying. But it’s also a little depressing because there continues to be no shortage of candidates for our coveted statuettes. Nor is there any reason to believe that censorship and repression will diminish in the years to come.