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AIDS Walk LA Founder Sues Santa Monica For Banning Ads On Buses

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Scene from an recent AIDS Walk (credit: aidswalk.net/losangeles)

Scene from an recent AIDS Walk (credit: aidswalk.net/losangeles)

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SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The founder of AIDS Walk Los Angeles is suing Santa Monica for the city’s decision to ban the organization’s advertisements on its bus system.

Craig Miller, along with Santa Monica residents Lisa Brisse and Paloma Bennett, claim the city’s plan to cut ads for their October AIDS fundraiser in Los Angeles and West Hollywood from Big Blue Bus is a violation of freedom of speech.

The suit states AIDS Walk LA has promoted the annual event on Big Blue Buses for six years, and provided $27,000 to $40,000 to Santa Monica each time.

In 2011, the city said the buses couldn’t display the ads anymore because the transit system is only allowed to run non-commercial advertising.

According to the suit, Miller, Brisse, and Bennett “believe that without their advertising on defendant’s buses, AWLA and those who benefit from it will be negatively impacted in terms of funds raised and distributed, numbers of participants and communication of the message of AWLA and AIDS Project Los Angeles.”

The plaintiffs want Santa Monica’s policy declared unconstitutional.

They’re also looking for an injunction prohibiting the city from refusing the AIDS Walk advertising.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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