Free Speech in Everybody's Hometown
Before we address a very thorny issue, Keep Media Green wants to make it very clear that our organization is an enthusiastic supporter of the Media Farmers Market. We believe the Market plays a vital role connecting our residents with local farmers and healthy farm food.
So, it is with a profound sadness that the Board of Directors of KMG is reporting that the leadership of the Media Farmer’s Market has decided to rescind their initial permission for Keep Media Green to set up a table and display our literature at the Media FarmersMarket for the 2022 Season.
Here is KMG’s side of the story.
We were very excited when the Market Manager sent KMG an email on April 7, 2022 approving our request for a “weekly spot for Keep Media Green at the Farmer's Market this season” with the warm and welcoming reply, “Hello – Happy to have you! Will you be starting on May 1st ?”
Feeling welcomed, KMG set up our canopy and literature tables at the Farmers Market on Sunday, May 1st. It was a beautiful spring day and our Co-Chairs, Terry Rumsey and Robin Lasersohn, enjoyed interacting with many dozens of residents and out-of-town visitors who approached the Keep Media Green table.
It was a relaxed and festive atmosphere until a spouse of a Media Borough Councilperson came over to the KMG table and demanded that our yard signs and copies of our free community newspaper, The Green Crier, be removed. Terry and Robin declined to remove the yard signs and newspapers.
A short time after this encounter, a representative of the Market approached our table and informed Terry and Robin that “Keep Media Green would not be invited back to the Market,” emphasizing the need for the Market to maintain a close relationship with Borough Council, which grants their permit.
When asked directly if there had been any complaints from customers, the representative answered, “No.”
On Wednesday, May 4th, Keep Media Green received an email from the Media Farmers Market with a formal letter rescinding approval for KMG to set up a table at the Market in the future. The letter provided no specific explanation for the basis of the decision.
Keep Media Green can only assume that it was the content of the messages on the yard signs and the criticism of Media Borough Council in the newspaper that prompted the Farmers Market to revoke approval of KMG’s participation that had been previously granted for the 2022 season.
KMG supports the Media Farmers Market and we will honor their decision. Please continue to support the Market by visiting and shopping there(Sundays from 10:00 AM -1:00 PM on N. Edgmont Street between State & Front Sts.).
Looking ahead, we can only hope that our town does not devolve into the kind of community where fear of reprisal by local elected officials begins to dictate what messages and opinions are permitted at community events.
The Keep Media Green Board of Directors
Terry Rumsey & Robin Lasersohn, Co-Chairs
Abbie Wysor, Treasurer