Dixie Chicks Getting Fan Support Via Petition

With the Dixie Chicks controversy still swirling, the trio’s fans are responding with petitions supporting lead vocalist Natalie Maines and her right to free speech. The petitions are being distributed on several Internet Web sites. While different petitions have been written, a version posted at PetitionOnline notes that Americans who work or travel overseas have had their reputations acutely affected by the U.S. attacks in Iraq. According to the petition, “It was therefore well within Maines’ rights to dissociate herself from the views and actions of the president before a London audience. Maines has subsequently made clear that she intended no disrespect to the office of the president or to the American soldiers serving in the Gulf.” Referring to radio stations now refusing to play music by the Dixie Chicks, the petition further states, “We deplore the efforts of radio stations and other media outlets and organizations to boycott the Dixie Chicks. We find it especially ironic that these efforts to chill future voices of dissent are being led by broadcasters to whom the public has entrusted our most vital First Amendment rights.” 03/26/03