Here is an email that I sent to a newspaper explaining how Rogers Centre infringes on our freedom.
[i]Dear Mr. *************
Our anti-NFL protest was a huge success, with about 40 people turning up and lots of media coverage.
However, it saddened me, as unsurprising as it was, that we were not allowed on to Blue Jays Way, Bremner Street, or anywhere near the Rogers Centre. As soon as we got close, the cops would tell us to get lost or risk arrest. This despite a complete lack of physical or verbal aggression towards anyone around us. We also had a permit which allowed us to protest on the grounds but when we showed the police they replied with a laugh and said, "Well, I'm guessing Ted Rogers' permit cost a little but more than yours did."
Another group of protesters, separate from us were protesting the low wages of concession workers at the dome ($9.25 an hour) were on the verge of arrest 3 times simply from handing out fliers to passers by. Each time, they fleed to avoid arrest.
The next day at the Argos game a friend of mine was wearing an Anti-Bills t-shirt. Within seconds of entering the Rogers Centre concourse, he was surrounded by security ordering him to remove the shirt or risk expulsion and/or arrest. The shirt had nothing offensive on it, simply a buffalo bills logo with a cross through it, similar to an anti-smoking sign.
Later I found out that before the game, one of the men leading the Anti-NFL in Toronto movement, Sterling Halliday, was also nearly arrested. He told me that before the game he was surrounded by cops telling him to remove his shirt and that he would certainly be arrested if he was seen distributing an anti-Bills shirt to anyone else. This is not the first time Sterling has encountered issues at Argos' home games, despite being a season ticket holder. Last game, he was not allowed on stadium property with his t-shirt.. Sterling has a permit from top Argos' executives that legally allow him to sell the shirts at Argos' home games. Mr. Halliday only escaped certain arrest by calling Pinball Clemons himself and having him speak to security.
It seems to be Rogers Centre policy to suppress any message that goes against them or suggests anything they are doing might be bad. In fact, the Anti-Bills shirt have gone from being a common sight in the first couple games (despite being new) to extremely rare, because anyone who wears them risks expulsion or arrest by Rogers Centre security and police.
I just wished to inform you of this very undemocratic practice that is going on at Rogers Centre, and I hope that you help encourage them to stop this habit of censorship by writing about it in an upcoming paper. As I, and many others see it, it goes against the fundamental principles of democracy and freedom of expression.