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Free speech zones?

  1. Dec 9, 2006 #1

    0rthodontist

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    (is there already a thread on this?)

    I was doing some reading about public spaces re the thread about prayer, and stumbled on this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zones#_note-sfgate

    which linked to this:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/01/04/INGPQ40MB81.DTL

    I am surprised I was not aware of this. Free speech zones sound completely antithetical to the point of free speech, and also free press: that latter article claimed that reporters were prohibited from entering the "free speech zones" to report on the "free speech."

    Can this be real?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2006 #2
    Welcome to Neo-America.

    Your papers please.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2006 #3

    Evo

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    Free speech is allowed, but within defined areas, those areas have been greatly restricted around the President. I don't know how I feel about the Presidential restrictions, but since a lot of people are just plain nuts, I guess I will lean towards agreeing on a space limit. If you want to hear people prattling on about their pet peeves, you absolutely can. If you don't, you don't have to. That's what makes it just for all. :approve:
     
  5. Dec 9, 2006 #4

    0rthodontist

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    Why not make a national free speech zone inside a desert in Utah, reserved for all views that disagree with governmental policy? No press access, of course. But if you want to hear a few dissenting views, all you have to do is go to Utah, so it's perfectly fair. I'm sure that's what the framers of the Constitution really meant.

    The true meaning of free speech is the ability to say what you want, where you want to, so long as you are in a place that reasonable people would call public, or in a place that you own yourself. We do not have any inherent right not to hear things we don't want to.
     
  6. Dec 9, 2006 #5

    Evo

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    You really are young and naive. :biggrin: Those boundaries can change. And I, for one, do not think that if I go to a Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade that the KKK or a group of skinheads, or right wing religious fanatics can ruin my day by spewing their personal opinions.
     
  7. Dec 9, 2006 #6

    0rthodontist

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    Though this is just a small point, not all skinheads are racist. There are also SHARP skinheads (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice).

    Second, you seem genuinely opposed to free speech. You appear to have no problem with people saying what they want, so long as they do it in private. If this is ad hominem, then please tell me and I sincerely apologize, but this is what it seems you are saying. Am I wrong about this?
     
  8. Dec 9, 2006 #7

    Hurkyl

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    False dichotomy. There's a (large) middle area between "able to speak anywhere I darn well please" and "able to speak only in private".

    And, of course, the right to free speech is not something to be upheld at all costs.

    (and don't make the mistake of thinking the right to free speech is the right to make other people listen to you)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
  9. Dec 9, 2006 #8

    0rthodontist

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    I would argue it's not quite a false dichotomy because I'm not saying it's either/or, just that Evo's statements have lead me to believe she only would like free speech to happen in private. It is certainly possible that there are public circumstances where Evo would not wish a peacable neo-nazi demonstration to be banned. (Not that I would like to see such a demonstration either, but I wouldn't want to remove their right to have one) But I would like to know what those circumstances are.
     
  10. Dec 9, 2006 #9

    0rthodontist

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    We're talking about forcing a few elderly people with anti-war signs to move a quarter mile away from a Bush gathering. What would the costs have been if those people were permitted to stay? They might have gotten a bit of media attention. That's it. The only danger is that they might have managed to communicate their views.

    I believe the right to free speech is the right to try to make other people listen to you, within reasonable legal bounds. If you are prohibited from even attempting to get listeners, you are not speaking freely in any meaningful way.
     
  11. Dec 9, 2006 #10

    Evo

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    How can you be a skinhead and not be racist? That's like a KKK member saying he's not racist. Either you are, or you aren't.

    You had better stop making things up, this is a warning. Next warning will be points.

    I said nothing of the kind, I said there are limits to where free speech is allowed. I agree that there should be limits so people are not imposed upon.
     
  12. Dec 9, 2006 #11

    Hurkyl

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    And you consider crashing an event organized by your opposition "reasonable legal bounds"?
     
  13. Dec 9, 2006 #12

    0rthodontist

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    You could have Googled it first.
    http://www.skinheadnation.co.uk/sharpskinheads.htm
    I'm sorry to hear that, and I'm sorry to have offended you.
    Under what circumstances would you feel a public neo-nazi demonstration is permissible?
     
  14. Dec 9, 2006 #13

    0rthodontist

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    So long as the event takes place on public property, yes, I would.
     
  15. Dec 9, 2006 #14

    Evo

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    I'm saying you aren't a skinhead if you aren't racist, that's what a skinhead is. Either you are or you aren't. This is BS. Yeah, the KKK has an offshoot that approves of inter-racial marriage.

    Under the law. As I have been saying.
     
  16. Dec 9, 2006 #15

    DaveC426913

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    So, they claim to be card-carrying skinheads - not because they subscribe to any skinhead philosophy, but because they like the music...

    Got it.

    They'll get along great with all the devout Roman Catholics who don't believe in God - but just like the unleavened bread they use in the Eucharist.

    :biggrin:
     
  17. Dec 10, 2006 #16

    loseyourname

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    I'm surprised, too. The Democratic National Convention has been doing this for almost twenty years. I remember back when they held it in LA, the protesters were relegated to Pershing Square, a mile away from the Staples Center where the convention was actually taking place.
     
  18. Dec 10, 2006 #17

    Astronuc

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    Um, no. There is no right to try and make other people listen to you. That is an infringement upon others.

    The original intent was to allow one to publicly express one's ideas or thoughts without punishment (arbitrarily or capriciously). Expressing one's ideas publicly is not the same as trying to 'make' others listent to one.

    Similarly, freedom of the press was intended to allow one to publish in print one's ideas or opinions without punishment (arbitrarily or capriciously). Freedom of speech and press have evolved in entirely different ways.

    Now, there are provisions against slander and libel. There are provisions to prosecute those who verbally or in writing advocate the disruption of social order or overthrow of government. Inciting people to riot is illegal. Inciting people to overthrow by illegal means is illegal.

    If one wishes to publicly express one's opinions, one is certainly 'free' to rent an appropriate venue, e.g. an auditorium or pavilion, to which one may invite the public to hear one's views. Similarly, one may write pamplets and distribute, but not forcefully, the literature to the public. One may publish one's opinions in a newspaper or other print media at the discretion of the owners/publishers of the media.

    Freedom of speech/press does not imply free of expense.
     
  19. Dec 10, 2006 #18
    from the first wiki link "Reporters are often barred by local officials from displaying these protesters on camera or speaking to them within the zone". this sounds like protesters in the zones designated for lawfull protests are often prevented from being viewed.

    from what iv read in this artical it sounds like only people supportive of bush (in this case) are permited to express their opinions. basicly, the policy is "you are allowed to say or express anything to want here, this is a free country:smile: unless it is not pro-bush. in that case you have to leave or be arrested:frown:.

    now if the safty of the president was in question here, i mean if there was a tip that someone in the croud was going to try to shoot at the president, then they would move the barriers back and not just move the non-pro bush people back (what kind of assasin would attract attention to themselves by being holding the only anti-bush poster in a probush rally)


    a person holding a "i dont want war no more" poster at a bush rally is Not the same as a bunch of KKK voicing their opinions on what black people are most usefull for over a megaphone at a thanks giving parade. it would be more like someone holding a poster of "i dont want to treat terkys inhumainly" at a thanks giving parada.


    to me this sounds like a clear cut tool for suppressing dissidents. if these protesters are yelling, making threats, being biligerent or acting violently, then they should be removed from the area for doing that. if they are showing their lack of support for a cause then that should be permited, even if it bothers the people around them that they are not like minded.

    in addition to that, i think expressing opposition to government policy should always be permited. dispite it being unpopular and disturbing to those who are supportive of those government policys
     
  20. Dec 10, 2006 #19

    Astronuc

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    If this is true, then this is a form of suppression of dissent, which in the case of Bush and his Republican supporters is no surprise.
     
  21. Dec 10, 2006 #20

    russ_watters

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    Evo already covered this: it is (in this case) a Republican sponsored event. They have a right to not have it disrupted. Like loseyourname said, the Democrats have the same right and do the same thing.
    That's just not realistic/reasonable. Besides the 'its my party and my right to not have it disrupted' thing, it is the nature/goal of protesting to be disruptive and it would be irresponsible to wait until after an event is disrupted to do something about it. Police have a responsibility to be proactive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
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