Fight Fair for Bridget

We are seeking financial support for Bridget Bittman's personal legal fees. She has filed a personal lawsuit alleging defamation by several "activists" who are not focusing on the original complaint with the organization for which Bridget serves as Public Information Coordinator. Our fight is not about open internet access, public libraries, freedom of speech, or intellectual freedom: It is about Fighting Fair, #fightfair

In October 2013, two individuals began protesting the public Internet access policy of the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) in Illinois. The majority of the library’s Board of Trustees did not agree with the activists, even after they were given numerous public opportunities to argue their case before the organization. Instead of focusing on the public policies at issue, the activists began unfairly targeting Bridget's professional and personal character. For more information on the nature of these attacks, see below.

In spite of the onslaught of disparagement on social media outlets, Bridget has never fought back, never engaged in the vicious tactics employed by the people who seek to harm her reputation.

Bridget Bittman is a lifelong public servant dedicated to professionalism. She has defended the principles set forth by her employers, the library and OPPL Board of Trustees, regardless of what her personal views may be.

The attacks of the past year have had an incredibly negative impact on her emotional, physical, and financial health. Colleagues, friends, and family overwhelming agree Bridget is a reasonable person with tremendous pride and integrity. Only after the pressure increased significantly did she become convinced that personal legal action was her only option.    

The lawsuit  is not a frivolous filing. She is not dipping into a personal store of cash to pay for the defamation lawsuit-- the situation is so desperate that she is drawing from her home equity line of credit to seek relief from the harassment she has endured.

The financial goal of this campaign is $10,000. This figure reflects the amount of money Bridget used to retain counsel. Sadly, this fee is only a fraction of what it will cost to seek justice in this situation.

Regardless of your political views or your opinion on the issues raised by the activists targeting Bridget, consider Fighting with her for Fairness, #fightfair. If you do care about intellectual freedom, public libraries, open internet access, or scientific facts, donating money to Fight Fair by properly using the legal system will forward those causes and hopefully deter future harassment on outlets like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and websites.

More information:
Among other items, the lawsuit  alleges: 

Photos were taken of Bittman’s house, then posted on Facebook in an attempt to intimidate her. (p. 6)

Defendants implied that Bittman was drunk at work, featuring a photo taken years earlier of a play performance. (p. 6)

Defendants falsely stated that Bittman was cited for Disorderly Conduct. (p. 7)

Defendants falsely claim (with video subtitled by defendants) that Bittman was brandishing a weapon and using hate speech in a public interaction (p. 8)

Defendants created a fake Facebook page, using real photos of the plaintiff, purporting to be Bittman’s private, part-time floral business (p. 11)

Article on recent YouTube post criticizing science at Chicago’s Field Museum and defamation suit filed against the tour guide: 

Chicago Tribune Article  re: effect of activists’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are having on budget of Orland Park Public Library: 

One group’s post  on Bridget, the “crusaders,” and their plight fighting OPPL: 

Please, help us Fight Fair for Bridget, #fightfair. 

Donations

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  • Maggie Allison 
    • $25 
    • 52 mos
  • Julie Tomek Campo 
    • $25 
    • 52 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $125 
    • 53 mos
  • Mary Kelly 
    • $100 
    • 53 mos
  • Anne&Al Turner 
    • $50 
    • 53 mos
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Organizer

Bridget Bittman 
Organizer
La Grange, IL
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