Posted on December 24, 2013

Sign Company Owner Alleges Conspiracy

Bryan Hix, Harrison Daily, December 20, 2013

When a controversial billboard was installed at the intersection of the Harrison bypass and Vine Street in mid-October, the public response was as swift as it was varied.

For several days following the billboard’s unveiling, Harrison Sign Company owner Claude West, whose company leased the advertising space, fielded calls from people across the United States. At the time, West said that the number of callers who contacted him to complain about the sign was offset by an equal number offering support.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Dec. 18, West said he now believes he and his business have been targeted for facilitating free speech and standing up for First Amendment protections contained in the U.S. Constitution. {snip}

West’s press release read as follows:

I am the business owner of Harrison Sign Company located in Harrison, Arkansas and at the center of a nationwide controversy due to my acceptance of a customer representing a group of local businessmen, who wished to acquire my services. The sign, which was proposed and subsequently placed on a large billboard on U.S. Highway 62-65 North, read, ‘Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.’

I feel that I have suffered extreme harm for my insistence that it is my right to facilitate the use of the United States Constitution’s First Amendment protections.

I am requesting legal assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union and seek legal remedies against the mayor’s office of the city of Harrison and the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce. Both entities are fully or partially taxpayer funded and not at liberty to use their official capacity to denounce my protected First Amendment rights.

I believe a conspiracy was entered into by the city of Harrison and the HRCC to bring about economic hardship to me personally and to my business unless I only supported the First Amendment rights of customers they personally and collectively agreed with. There are numerous evidences including, but not limited to, the mayor’s office telling area residents, via websites and phone, to call us and complain.”

The following was taken directly from the city’s official website: ‘We are doing our best to persuade its removal, but we may need your help. This was purchased through Harrison’s Sign Company, so if you would like to see this removed, call them at 741-5267 to complain.’