Indian American Senate Candidate Files Lawsuit Against Cambridge City

Shiva Ayyadurai’s campaign posters call the incumbent Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren “a fake Indian”, which the city officials have asked to be taken down.


Indian American U.S. Senate candidate from Massachusetts Shiva Ayyadurai has filed a lawsuit against the city of Cambridge for allegedly infringing upon his First Amendment rights on April 22, The Washington Times reported.

The lawsuit was filed after the city asked him to take down two identical signs, plastered across his campaign bus, that showed Senator Elizabeth Warren in a Native American headdress with the slogan: “Only a real Indian can defeat the fake Indian.”

The “fake Indian” is a reference to the fact the Democrat senator claims to have a part Cherokee (Native American) heritage. Warren’s heritage has been a subject of controversy before–becoming a sparring point with Republican Senator Scott Brown and with U.S. President Donald Trump calling her “Pocahontas” while hosting an event at the White House, as per CBS News,

According to the lawsuit filed by Ayyadurai, India West reported, the city was motivated by political bias when it alleged the slogan on the vehicle constituted a building code violation and demanded that the slogan be taken down or face a $300-per-day fine.

The suit was filed in U.S. district court in Boston, in response to a warning letter sent to Ayyadurai on April 5 by the city officials. The letter was sent after Cambridge building inspector’s department received “a series of anonymous complaints” about the large signs posted on either side of a school bus that is parked in front of Ayyadurai-owned office building, CBS News report said.

The slogan, however, is painted on the bus, which is in the parking lot when it is not on the road, and is not part of the building, which is free of any signs–commercial, political or otherwise– the lawsuit said. It pointed that previous signage on the bus did not get a letter from the city officials.

The lawsuit asked for a temporary and permanent injunction against the city imposing any fine. “This is a political vendetta by city officials who are supporters of Elizabeth Warren,” Ayyadurai said in a statement, defending the slogan for his campaign “Shiva 4 Senate”.

“We will not remove the slogan from our bus. We will not give one penny to the city. We will defend the First Amendment, and we will fight this egregious attack on the First Amendment, at any cost,” Ayyadurai added, as per India West.

Ayyadurai’s campaign website is now asking for donations from constituents “to support our fight to defend the rights that our American revolutionaries died fighting for.”

Shiva Ayyadurai is running as an Independent candidate against the incumbent Warren for November’s U.S. Congressional elections. He had initially declared his candidacy as a Republican.

In results that are being looked at as an ominous sign for Trump administration, Republican Debbie Lesko won the House special election in Arizona on April 24, with 53 per cent of vote when Democrat Hiral Tipirneni got 47 per cent of the vote, POLITICO reported.

The slim margin of victory has been attributed to independent voters being “dismayed and distressed” by Trump administration, according to Rodd McLeod, a Democratic consultant based in Arizona who worked on Tipirneni’s campaign. “What you’re seeing is that Donald Trump is toxic, even in bright red Republican territory,” McLeod said as per the report.

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