Just days after the Lowell Sun published an article about their presence in Chelmsford and other local communities, and on the same morning the Sun published an editorial about them, a group calling themselves “The First Amendment Auditors” showed up at Lowell City Hall.
The group popped into the Clerk, Treasurer and Assessors offices, before heading upstairs and visiting City Manager Tom Golden.
Of their stop in his office, City Clerk Michael Geary tells InsideLowell; “They were here. Killed them with kindness. They lost interest.”
The movement, which has sprung up across the country, is comprised of individuals who specifically film public sector employees in government buildings and public property to test the rights to film in a public space. The so-called “audits” are often posted to YouTube and yield various results. An uneventful audit is characterized as “passing a test,” while a confrontational audit, usually an attempt by an employee to interfere with the filming, gets a failing grade. Many audits are non-violent and uneventful. But some encounters have escalated dramatically, resulting in arrest and litigation.
From what we’ve gathered, the Mill City visit was non-violent and uneventful, though we’ll have to wait till the “Auditors” post their exploits online to find out whether it qualifies as a passing grade.