Free speech zones?

  • #26
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,950
19
When did city streets become your bedroom?
They're not, of course. I never said they did.

I'm trying to snap people out of their knee-jerk "Free speech should be free, darn it!" reaction; as long as people are working from that premise, their arguments are unsound, because obviously (!) there must be limits on free speech.

And I picked this particular example (as opposed to "Fire!") precisely because of its relevant issue. For example, in terms of being "public", the route of a motorcade is clearly somewhere between a park bench1 and my bedroom. So, it would be nice if the anti-FSZ crowd wasn't arguing as if someone was being barred from sitting on a park bench holding a political sign. :tongue:



1: under ordinary circumstances, of course.
 
Last edited:
  • #27
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,826
6
The right to express ones opinion is the most important part of living in a free country in my mind. As long as that opinion is reasonable and valid it should be allowed to be broadcast in a public arena. As long as the person or people broadcasting the opinion are acting in a civil manner to those around them then they should be left alone.

Conversely people in a public space have no right not to hear things the don't want and they have no right not to be offended by other peoples opinions. If you operate a society in which people who don't want to hear differing opinions are allowed to be shielded then their beliefs can never be challenged. Somebody who does not re-asses and constantly question their opinions and beliefs is very dangerous indeed especially if they happen to be wrong. It is a requirement of society if it is to survive that the opinions and beliefs of those members of society should be continually challenged in a public arena in order for it to progress. This is especially true of those in power.

So I was quite shocked to see that protesters in america are hidden away from public gaze in case they shock anyone. This seems counter-productive to society as a whole. To repress any part of a society leads to those members taking disruptive and illegal methods in getting their voice heard and ultimately would and has led to rebellion if the issue concerns a significant proportion of people. Plus why punish a majority for the fear that a small minority might disrupt an event? Surely the police could handle the few 'crackers' that do turn up.

Anyway I say this an there probably exists a similar law in Britain.
 
  • #28
devil-fire
For example, in terms of being "public", the route of a motorcade is clearly somewhere between a park bench1 and my bedroom. So, it would be nice if the anti-FSZ crowd wasn't arguing as if someone was being barred from sitting on a park bench holding a political sign. :tongue:



1: under ordinary circumstances, of course.

the thing with the motorcades is that they should be as free as any other place in regards to political expression. the reason why people are being relocated away from these motorcades isnt because of the danger they pose, but because it dosnt look good to see protesters as the president drives by. if the issue was security, then even the bush supports should be relocated
 
  • #29
Skyhunter
I'm trying to snap people out of their knee-jerk "Free speech should be free, darn it!" reaction; as long as people are working from that premise, their arguments are unsound, because obviously (!) there must be limits on free speech.

I missed all the knee-jerk reactions. Could you point them out please?

Hurkyl said:
And I picked this particular example (as opposed to "Fire!") precisely because of its relevant issue. For example, in terms of being "public", the route of a motorcade is clearly somewhere between a park bench1 and my bedroom. So, it would be nice if the anti-FSZ crowd wasn't arguing as if someone was being barred from sitting on a park bench holding a political sign. :tongue:

I think the argument by the anti-FSZ crowd is the prohibition against access by and to the media. That to me is troubling. If someone is holding a public rally, the public should be allowed to participate, provided the conduct themselves in a civilized manner.

loseyourname said:
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.

Those were not peaceful demonstrations. Because of the violence associated with the demonstrations the LAPD was attempting to keep the peace. And the press was not prohibited from accessing the protesters.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/08/17/convention.police/

"There's simply just so many media people integrated into the crowds and it is unfortunate we had this situation, and again we apologize," Kalish said.
 
  • #30
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
i don't think holding a sign or wearing a T-shirt that says "i love peace" or "war kills people" is disruptive.
I never said it was...
like i said, if these protesters are being disruptive for harassing people, then they should be removed from the area for harassment.
You're missing the point: How do you tell ahead of time if that person holding the sign or wearing that t-shirt is going to be disruptive?
 
  • #31
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
The right to express ones opinion is the most important part of living in a free country in my mind.
Yes....
As long as that opinion is reasonable and valid it should be allowed to be broadcast in a public arena.
Yikes, no!! The entire point of the 1st Amendment is that it is the content of the message that cannot be suppressed. It doesn't matter at all how reasonable or valid the message is!

What this discussion is about is the method by which people express their beliefs, not the content itself.
 
Last edited:
  • #32
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
I think the argument by the anti-FSZ crowd is the prohibition against access by and to the media. That to me is troubling. If someone is holding a public rally, the public should be allowed to participate, provided the conduct themselves in a civilized manner.
I checked-into that one because it doesn't make sense to me. Wik cites two articles, but the first one says nothing of the sort. The second contains the quote in the citation, but doesn't elaborate. It looks to me like the Wik statement about it being common is not correct. There was one instance of it reported. It is not a real public law/policy.
 
  • #33
Skyhunter
I checked-into that one because it doesn't make sense to me. Wik cites two articles, but the first one says nothing of the sort. The second contains the quote in the citation, but doesn't elaborate. It looks to me like the Wik statement about it being common is not correct. There was one instance of it reported. It is not a real public law/policy.

I certainly hope not. I can understand setting aside areas for dissent and keeping two separate factions separated to avoid trouble. But denying the press access is IMO an egregious violation of the first amendment.
 
  • #34
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,826
6
Yikes, no!! The entire point of the 1st Amendment is that it is the content of the message that cannot be suppressed. It doesn't matter at all how reasonable or valid the message is!

What this discussion is about is the method by which people express their beliefs, not the content itself.

So how does rational debate about particular social points take place. If you can't even get a well constructed argument into a public arena to challenge particular beliefs then what is the point in the first amendment? How then do you encourage debate in society about divided issues?

On the point of the method of delivery I find that from this thread many believe they have a right not to see or hear other peoples opinions if they don't want to (or at least that is the way it comes across - educate me if I'm wrong). I believe that people have no rights at all to not be offended and the reason I believe that is because you can then not criticise those people and criticism generally offends. What criticism does do is allow other people a third party perspective on their own beliefs and if they're reasonable people they will re-asses their view and either take on board what you have said or reject it. If, also peoples ability to express those criticisms by having their method of delivery compromised on infringed upon then neither party can learn from each other which is the root of free speech.

For instance the president has this exclusion zone for protesters so he must be in his own isolated bubble where he gets no feedback and continues making decisions based on his judgement and his alone. As a democratically elected leader it is his duty to uphold the will of the people and if he can't get any feedback from the people then how can he do that? He is stuck in a place that he cannot grow as a leader and cannot put in place the opinions of the country's people. Of course I realise those that protest are a minoroty, but the fact that he can see that policy x, y and z are issues means he can at least consider the position on those policies again.

I used the presidency as an example there but it works all over.
 
  • #35
devil-fire
You're missing the point: How do you tell ahead of time if that person holding the sign or wearing that t-shirt is going to be disruptive?

i would expect using aggressive body language and a raised voice would count. are you implying that wearing a dissident t-shirt and holding a sign like that is also a good indication that a person is going to become disruptive?
 
  • #36
Evo
Mentor
23,538
3,173
So how does rational debate about particular social points take place. If you can't even get a well constructed argument into a public arena to challenge particular beliefs then what is the point in the first amendment?
Well, it's usually referred to as your right to vote. That's kind of the whole reason behind voting. You elect people to represent you and they are your voice (supposedly, in theory, that's how it's supposed to work).

If you have an issue, you write to the appropriate representative.

Of course there can be special issues which people feel can't wait to go through proper channels. You do have the right to peaceful assembly, but that doesn't mean that you can assemble anywhere, anytime, for any reason. You want to have a rally in a public space? You contact the proper authoriities and request a permit. They will approve the time and place and provide the necessary police protection. This may be just to route traffic, or crowd control, etc...
 
  • #37
devil-fire
So how does rational debate about particular social points take place. If you can't even get a well constructed argument into a public arena to challenge particular beliefs then what is the point in the first amendment?

Well, it's usually referred to as your right to vote. That's kind of the whole reason behind voting. You elect people to represent you and they are your voice (supposedly, in theory, that's how it's supposed to work).

If you have an issue, you write to the appropriate representative.

there is much more to political participation then only the act of voting. for example, debate among citizens.
 
  • #38
Skyhunter
there is much more to political participation then only the act of voting. for example, debate among citizens.

Good point. A healthy democracy needs debate and free expression of ideas.

[edit] Which is what PF's P&WA is all about [/edit]
 
  • #39
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
So how does rational debate about particular social points take place. If you can't even get a well constructed argument into a public arena to challenge particular beliefs then what is the point in the first amendment? How then do you encourage debate in society about divided issues?
Where in the first amendment does it say anything about rational debate being required? All it is saying is that you have the right to speak yoru mind. It enforces no standard of debate, nor should it.
 
  • #40
Evo
Mentor
23,538
3,173
there is much more to political participation then only the act of voting. for example, debate among citizens.
Unfortunately in such a large society , other than local town hall debates, it's a bit hard to get a couple of miilion people in one room. :tongue2:
 
  • #41
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
i would expect using aggressive body language and a raised voice would count. are you implying that wearing a dissident t-shirt and holding a sign like that is also a good indication that a person is going to become disruptive?
Certainly aggressive body language and a raised voice would count. But if you want to be as disruptive as possible, you need to act passive until the event you are intending to disrupt starts. So to answer your question, yes, wearing a dissenting t-shirt or holding a sign is an indication of a possibly disruptive person. Certainly, you wouldn't expect someone wearing non-dissenting apparel to be disruptive. If protesters were smart, they'd wear non-dissenting apparel in order to infiltrate the event, and then become disruptive. But wearing supportive apparel is probably too much for an ideologue to stomach.
 
  • #42
Skyhunter
Certainly aggressive body language and a raised voice would count. But if you want to be as disruptive as possible, you need to act passive until the event you are intending to disrupt starts. So to answer your question, yes, wearing a dissenting t-shirt or holding a sign is an indication of a possibly disruptive person. Certainly, you wouldn't expect someone wearing non-dissenting apparel to be disruptive. If protesters were smart, they'd wear non-dissenting apparel in order to infiltrate the event, and then become disruptive. But wearing supportive apparel is probably too much for an ideologue to stomach.

I must not be much of an ideologue then, because that is exactly how I would do it. Infiltrate and then subvert the dominant paradigm.
 
  • #43
devil-fire
If protesters were smart, they'd wear non-dissenting apparel in order to infiltrate the event, and then become disruptive. But wearing supportive apparel is probably too much for an ideologue to stomach.

unless the objective is to protest and not be disruptive.
 
  • #44
russ_watters
Mentor
21,074
7,820
That's an oxymoron.
 
  • #45
175
0
That's an oxymoron.

to the newly-conned maybe

I take it that was in responce to

"unless the objective is to protest and not be disruptive.''

wearing a shirt and or holding a sign is not disruptive at a public political rally
or at a road side, sidewalk ect
moderate heckaling, as appossed to shouting down, is not disruptive
but is an attempt to start a dialog with a public offical
BuSh2 is the very first to demand loyalty oaths at political rallys
and see any disagreement as disruption
this clearly shows the current leadership doesnot care what the people think
and wants only flocks of brainwashed sheeple at their events
who only baa at the approved times
 

Related Threads on Free speech zones?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
34
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
Z
  • Last Post
5
Replies
103
Views
13K
  • Last Post
9
Replies
207
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
4K
Replies
77
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
24
Views
4K
Replies
126
Views
13K
Replies
13
Views
2K
M
Top