On November 2, NYRA members gathered on the steps of the US Supreme Court to speak out for free speech, opposition to video game censorship and support for lowering the voting age. On this day, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA. On trial was the right of the state to restrict the sale of video games based on age. November 2nd was also election day, a day in which youth were denied the right to vote based on age. NYRA was there also to support our amicus brief in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA case.
The rally was a great success, and tons of youth rights supporters turned out for it, even traveling from New York and Pennsylvania for the event. Our rally attracted great press in Time Magazine, Games Radar and 1up.com. NYRA members held signs that read “Live Free, Start Young”, “Suffrage Not Censorship”, “Free Speech is for All Ages” and “Been Playing Grand Theft Auto Since 2004, Still Haven’t Stolen a Car”. Check out some great pictures of the event below.
NYRA board member Usiel Phoenix gave an inspiring speech at the rally. With cameras filming her every move, Usiel said, “As I speak, millions of American citizens are exercising their right to defend their political interests through the casting of a ballot. Not one of these people will be under the age of 18. Not one of these ballots will clearly reflect the interests of youth. On this day, 75 million American students, workers, and taxpayers, should they think of raising their voice to speak, will find that their tongues have been cut out and held in trust. If I could vote, I would vote against those who would betray the founding ideals of this country so deeply as to engage in needless censorship.” Read the text of Phoenix’s speech here.