Freedoms: Thou Shalt Not Read

Thou Shalt Not Read

By any measure, Michael Sebetich seemed like an upstanding citizen. But this week the 48-year-old ecology professor at New Jersey's William Paterson College will stand trial on charges of disorderly conduct. His crime? Reading a copy of the New York Times at a city council meeting in Hawthorne, N.J. In October, Sebetich learned that a spectator had been ordered to stop reading at a meeting chaired by councilman Stanley Domalewski. Says Sebetich: "It upset me very much that anyone could take away that freedom from a U.S. citizen." He proceeded to wage a silent protest by attending a council meeting and...

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