Fight Fair for Bridget
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.
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.
With a great new marketing job in a wonderful setting at a nonprofit, I am finally at peace. It is with humble gratitude that I appreciate all the support I have received in the past several years. Thank you for helping me fight fair.
Contrary to what you may read and infer from some parties who do not know anything about what they speak, I obtained what I sought from those defendants which then formed the basis for my agreement to have them be dismissed.
While there have not yet been monetary payments to or from any party in this litigation, the litigation was never principally about monetary damages. I filed the litigation to protect my reputation and have done so.
Indeed, by a recent public statement, Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan have made an acknowledgement I long sought from them.
Other parties have recently published statements about me in light of the mutual dismissal of claims that suggest those parties are privy to more detailed information. They are not.
I left the Orland Park Public Library on good terms. I wish it well. Though some still seek to harm me personally and professionally for the OPPL positions I articulated, I know - and I trust you will know - that their false statements merely play to their own audience.
Although my lawsuit was never principally about monetary damages, I have nonetheless incurred attorney's fees in the tens of thousands of dollars through November of last year. At that time, the attorneys representing me as plaintiff agreed to continue representing me without charging any fees. To date, I have personally paid most of the attorney’s fees owed to them (primarily with credit cards and my home equity line). However, a balance remains owing to them for which I am personally responsible. For this, I seek your support and assistance.
For my part, I want to move forward with my personal and professional life. Thank you so much in advance for your efforts to help enable me to do so.
Can you provide us with an update please? I posted in ALATT about this matter and added your link. I'd really like to know the outcome.
Gosh, such a time (I mostly I know the USA) where people act out on their personal (usually unconcious) issues by attacking innocents, worse yet, even heroes like Bridget! I would give more but I'm coming to the end of my NY State Unemployment (12-15-14!) Insurance and must take good care of very limited resources as I do not yet have employment or a steady source of income. You go Bridget! And please let the legal process be public.... we can learn so much from that in terms of what to watch out for in the world to protect other Bhodisatvas (Buddhist word for people who live to serve others). Best, TC in Upstate NY