Or­der to re­move ‘fake In­dian’ signs re­scinded

War­ren chal­lenger faced fines of $300 per day

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

That campaign sign dub­bing Demo­cratic Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren a “fake In­dian” no longer faces an ex­is­ten­tial threat from the city of Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts.

Cam­bridge of­fi­cials have with­drawn their April or­der calling for In­de­pen­dent Se­nate can­di­date Shiva Ayyadu­rai to re­move ban­ners on his campaign bus de­pict­ing Ms. War­ren in a feathered head­dress with the slo­gan, “Only a REAL IN­DIAN can de­feat the fake In­dian.”

As a re­sult, Mr. Ayyadu­rai filed a mo­tion Thurs­day to drop his law­suit ac­cus­ing Cam­bridge of vi­o­lat­ing his free-speech rights, declar­ing it a “historic vic­tory to pro­tect your right to free speech.” “If we had not fought and won this bat­tle, the City of Cam­bridge would have set a historic prece­dent em­pow­er­ing any bu­reau­crat sit­ting in a City Hall across Amer­ica to squelch your free speech, be­cause they sim­ply didn’t like you or fa­vored a par­tic­u­lar po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy or can­di­date,” Mr. Ayyadu­rai said in a state­ment.

The April 5 or­der from a city build­ing in­spec­tor in­structed Mr. Ayyadu­rai to re­move two large, iden­ti­cal signs posted on ei­ther side of his campaign bus or face fines of $300 a day, adding that the city had re­ceived “a se­ries of anony­mous com­plaints” about the sig­nage.

Ms. War­ren lives about a mile away from the of­fice build­ing owned by Mr. Ayyadu­rai , where the bus is parked when not be­ing driven through the state for campaign ap­pear­ances.

“Imag­ine be­ing in con­stant fear that a slo­gan you put on your car, or on your body, such as a T-shirt, could re­sult in your be­ing dragged into court and fined?” he said. “This is a vic­tory for all Amer­i­cans.”

A let­ter from Ran­jit Sin­ganayagam, com­mis­sioner of the Cam­bridge In­spec­tional Ser­vices Depart­ment, said the or­der had been re­scinded “based upon rep­re­sen­ta­tions re­gard­ing the use of the bus for events and driv­ing it to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions.”

Mr. Ayyadu­rai, who was born in Mum­bai, has ham­mered the Demo­cratic se­na­tor on her as­ser­tions of Chero­kee an­ces­try, an is­sue that also dogged her 2012 Se­nate campaign.

Ms. War­ren claimed mi­nor­ity sta­tus dur­ing her teach­ing stints at Har­vard Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia law schools even though she is not an en­rolled mem­ber of any tribe, prompt­ing ac­cu­sa­tions that she did so to ad­vance her ca­reer, which she has de­nied.

Pres­i­dent Trump has kept the is­sue in the news by calling her “Poc­a­hon­tas,” a nick­name he gave her dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial campaign.

Ms. War­ren, who said she grew up in Ok­la­homa with fam­ily sto­ries of her Chero­kee her­itage, re­sponded by telling the Na­tional Congress of Amer­i­can Indians in a Feb. 15 speech that she will “lift up” their sto­ries when­ever the pres­i­dent mocks her.


Of­fi­cials in Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts, with­drew their or­der to re­move ban­ners de­pict­ing Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren in a feathered head­dress with the slo­gan, “Only a REAL IN­DIAN can de­feat the fake In­dian.”


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