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Shopping in Silence

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The Westfield Galleria mall in Roseville, California has taken the childhood directive "Don't talk to strangers" to a whole new level—barring people from speaking to people they don't know in common areas. A northern California appeals court recently struck down this policy, claiming it violates freedom of speech, but a mall spokesperson says Westfield is considering an appeal to the state supreme court. At the Westfield Galleria, strangers are prohibited from speaking to each other unless the conversation is in regards to official mall business. The rule was enacted after a pastor was arrested for proselytizing. According to the AP, "The appeals court says the policy effectively bars shoppers from chatting about the weather or offering directions." [AP]