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I live in New Orleans and this column totally mischaracterizes this situation. This is a public safety issue. Bourbon Street attracts large crowds at times and anything that causes crowd congestion is a problem. Violence and other unpleasant events can, and have, happened in these situations. All these preachers have to do is step a very few feet on to a cross street and they can continue their preaching unimpeded, and be heard by those on Bourbon. It is also against the law to sit down either on the sidewalk or in the street for the same reasons. Freedom of speech is not an absolute right at all times. It must be weighed against other rights. The Supreme Court has long held this.
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