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For those who hate "Free Speech Zones"

 
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 09:43 am
The one thing failed to be mentioned is that free speech zones around clinics are for a building that can not move. The protestors are positioned so they are visible to their intended targets.

In the case of "free speech" zones for a President that DOES move and is perfectly capable of not seeing the protestors. What is the point of putting those protestors out of his sight?

In the case of abortion protestors they CAN get their message to their intended target who are free to ignore them. In the case of political free speech zones the purpose appears to be that they can NOT get their message to their intended target. What is particularly repugnant in the use of political free speech zones is that free speech is meant to keep our country free.
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McGentrix
 
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Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 09:56 am
When and if the Dems get their act together and get another president elected, they can change all these dreadful policies. I doubt they do it though as they will soon discover why those policies were put into place.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:07 am
Then you, McG, will have to accept that you are living in a country where protest against the ruling party is restricted to certain areas:

http://a1112.g.akamai.net/7/1112/492/2002091469/www.wired.com/news/images/full/19_f.13612.jpg

more pictures
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McGentrix
 
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Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:12 am
Was that picture from the DNC?
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:13 am
Good, McG!
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:27 am
As I'm not United-Statian, I often fail to understand why people would excuse almost everything as long as it's done by someone from their party and condemn almost everything as long as it's the other party.

Tell me, McG: what is the purpose of those zones? To prevent violence?

Honestly, if I'd like to cause a violent riot, in the presence of the president, I'd carry a pro-Bush sign. I'd be allowed to stand right next to the president. Wow. Think of the possibilities.

On the other hand, everbody who wants to demonstrate peacefully is relegated into the "Zone".

I don't understand.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:29 am
A single person can not cause much of a riot. Especially when surrounded by people of the opposing viewpoints. It's the mob mentality that is being kept in check.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:32 am
McGentrix wrote:
A single person can not cause much of a riot. Especially when surrounded by people of the opposing viewpoints. It's the mob mentality that is being kept in check.


"He was standing among citizens who were enthusiastically greeting Bush. Bursey, however, was the only one holding an anti-Bush sign.... He was ordered to put down his sign or move to a designated protest site more than half a mile away, outside the sight and hearing of the president. Bursey refused. He was then arrested and charged with trespassing by the South Carolina police.... However, those charges were dropped. Understandably, courts across the nation have upheld the right to protest on public property.... Instead, Bursey was indicted by the federal government for violation of a federal law that allows the Secret Service to restrict access to areas visited by the president. Bursey faces up to six months in prison and a US$5,000 fine."

???
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:43 am
What's the question? The rules were made abundantly clear and Bursey decided to break the rules and now is in the process of being punished. It was a decision Bursey made and is now dealing with the consequences.

We may not like it, but the rules are the rules until they are changed.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:49 am
Well, you just said in the post before that a single person could not cause much of a riot. Bursey was a single person. You said this would especially be true when the person would be surrounded by people of the opposing viewpoints. Bursey was surrounded by people of the opposing viewpoints.

So how was the mob mentality being kept in check?

And re "The rules were made abundantly clear" - which rules? Which rules did Bursey decide to break?
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kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 10:51 am
McGentrix wrote:
Blame the radicals for bringing violence to protests.


Oh, and violence is NOT part of the anti-abortion movement?

Shall I go through the list of bombings, stalkings, threats, assassinations in broad daylight, and general Uzi-ing of the premises that the anti-abortion lot has gleefully engaged in for many, many years?

If a woman wants an abortion, she should be able to simply drive up to the clinic at the appointed time and get one without being forced to confront a whole line of people out to bother her. Anything else is harassment.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 11:01 am
McG:
Quote:
When and if the Dems get their act together and get another president elected, they can change all these dreadful policies. I doubt they do it though as they will soon discover why those policies were put into place.


Strangely enough, our country existed for a very long time without said policies and seemed to get by just fine.

Clinton had several of his speeches interrupted by protestors and you didn't see him announcing 'free speech zones.' Which is because he's a far better politician and statesman than the pansy ass Bush Crew that is in office right now.

Cycloptichorn
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DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 12:01 pm
McGentrix wrote:
I will submit yelling "fire" in a crowded theater as an example...


but if there is a fire, and you see that some are not aware of it, is it not irresponsible to sit by and say nothing ?

and if someone continuously attempts to silence you from announcing your concern in that situation, because it is of benefit to him to do so (insurance or whatever...), what does that make the restraining person ?

is that a person you can, or should, trust with your well being ?
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 07:22 pm
You can't criticise the Emperor Bushii, that is the new rule. Get used to it people. Free speech was never an absolute and now the restrictions are piling up and up. Freedom? "Freedom's just another word....."
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Apr, 2005 07:25 pm
McGentrix wrote:
I will submit yelling "fire" in a crowded theater as an example...


And the right to swing your arm ends where your fist meets the other person's nose. Free speech (as I said) was never an absolute and is limited. The discussion always centres on how the limits are to be applied.
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watchmakers guidedog
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Apr, 2005 02:16 am
Free-speech zones... Oh, that's beautiful. Very Orwellian. I actually suspected that was being made up at first, that it couldn't possibly be true.

Anyway.

Honestly, out of all of the protests I've ever seen, I don't know that I would describe a single one as "peaceful". Be they protests by anti-abortionists or anti-bushists. At best they are loud, obnoxious and unpleasant.

Me personally, I always thought of free speech being more of a "you can publish a book, write an editorial, chat with your friends or make a webpage saying whatever you want" type thing, more than a "stand on the streetcorner and shout" kind of thing. Basically you have the right to say what you want when people have the ability not to listen. (of course to me this logically extends to advertising on billboards, etc).

However to me, the limits of public discourse should still be equally set. If the maximum volume of speech is set to 65 decibells (or whatever) then it should be 65 whether you're for or against Bush, or for or against abortion. Likewise if waving signs in public is prohibited then it should apply to all signs.

Blocking public thoroughfares (or deliberately impeding the flow of traffic through it), should be (and I think is) illegal. Regardless of who is doing it. How are people going to get where they need to go if people are blocking the road with signs and chanting.

As ridiculous as it sounds, if people aren't allowed to stand and heckle strangers entering an abortion clinic I don't think people should be allowed to stand and congratulate strangers entering an abortion clinic. (I know that would rarely happen but you get the point hopefully).
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Apr, 2005 07:11 am
It's an interesting issue.

In Vancouver several years ago, the federal government hosted a big economic conference, guests to which included then President Clinton, various European leaders, the big fella from China, and various other heads of state some of whom did not give a rats ass for civil liberties, free expression, democratic rule, etc.

Protesters were allowed (by the police at the direction of the Liberal federal government) certain 'free speech areas' to express their views. These areas were fenced off and nowhere near where the visiting dignitaries might see them. Even so, there were a few gallons of pepper spray expended on young people's eyes. Of course, this was all a restriction on speech designed so as not to offend offensive dignitaries who might add dollars to the wallets of those who already had full wallets.
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DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Apr, 2005 12:43 pm
i hate the whole concept. a "free speech zone" ??

a very clever yet vacuous attempt at appearing to be "freedom loving" while assuring that the president, or whoever, will never hear a single thing that he doesn't want to hear. might bum his trip. can't have that.

that said, some folks, such as the self proclaimed "anarchists" that totally trashed the wto summit don't help things in this area. i think they created the same fear when they marched in to nyc with the bandanas on their faces.

the vast majority of anti-war people have always been non-violent during their gatherings. but people tend to notice and remember the bad actor at a party more so than the other cool people they met.

moral of the story is that in the current climate, people on the left need to police their own because the right wingers in power right now are truly talented at doing something that's totally screwed and making it appear to be absolutely sensible to the average joe.
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