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Gag Order

February 11, 1993

For the last eight months the young black men charged in the beating of Reginald Denny (the LA+4) have received nothing but abuse from both the authorities and the media. Now, as the trials approach, Judge John Ouderkirk has placed a gag order on supporters of the LA+4. He has banned the wearing of any buttons supporting the LA+4 from the Criminal Courts Building, even at pretrial hearings at which no jurors are present.

One is reminded of the old Chinese saying: "The emperor can burn down a thousand villages, but the people are forbidden to light a single candle." This attempt to suppress even the slightest expression of dissenting opinion speaks loudly to the fear with which the government approaches these highly selective and politically motivated prosecutions. NAT WILLIAMS RONNIE BROWN Refuse and Resist, Los Angeles

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday February 13, 1993 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 6 Column 5 Metro Desk 2 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Gag order--On Feb. 4 Judge John Ouderkirk rescinded his ban on the wearing of buttons supporting the LA4+ defendants in the Criminal Courts Building (letter, Feb. 11). The defendants are accused of beating trucker Reginald Denny as last spring's riots began.

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