Daraius Dubash is well-known to many miles and points veterans. He founded the blog Million Mile Secrets which he later sold to Bankrate, and which was thus acquired by Red Ventures alongside The Points Guy. The site still exists, but hasn’t been updated in over two years.
He’s an animal rights activist these days and spent time at the Discovery Green park which was acquired and created by the City of Houston (he tells me he was staying in hotels there on points) to educate people about the issue. He played documentary excerpts about mistreatment of animals on a screen, and talked to people who were interested in engaging the topic.
Each time they came out, they were asked to leave because park goers might be ‘offended’ by their message. They’d leave – but on his last visit Daraius refused. It’s a public park and government agencies can’t pick and choose who can speak based on the content of their messages under the first amendment.
The park didn’t even hide that’s what they were doing, saying “we don’t feel the content is appropriate.”
Houston police cuffed Daraius and held him in a chair until taking him to jail and charging him with criminal trespass. The charges were dismissed because yeah, you can’t do that.
Now Daraius is suing, and he’s represented by FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) and by the Law & Religion Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. Here is the complaint.
The lawsuit seeks to vindicate Harsini and Dubash’s constitutional right to share their beliefs freely in a public space. It asks the court to prohibit the city and Discovery Green Conservancy from interfering with Harsini and Dubash’s peaceful advocacy at the park, and it seeks damages for First Amendment and Fourth Amendment violations.
NEW LAWSUIT: FIRE and the Law and Religion Clinic @UTexas1ACenter is suing Houston, Tx., its park management, and two police officers who arrested an animal rights advocate at a public park in downtown Houston for standing firm on his right to free speech. pic.twitter.com/v5QbnYfkrp
— FIRE (@TheFIREorg) September 21, 2023
Here’s the full story:
Daraius’s blog was popular for its ‘circles and arrows’, explaining things in the miles and points space with an ‘even a caveman can do it’ approach. After leaving the blog he’s gone a different direction, and people sometimes ask from time to time what he’s up to. Something entirely different, though he’s still using points!