Tag Archives: free speech

CA: Napolitano pledges to uphold UC’s free-speech tradition

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"The University of California will uphold its free-speech tradition by hosting provocateurs such as Milo Yiannopoulos, regardless of their message, unless they resort to personal threats or attacks on audience members, UC President Janet Napolitano says. 'If we at UC unreasonably limit the ability of speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to safely express themselves on our campuses, we are telling the world that we would accept suppression of our own speech,' Napolitano told a legal conference Friday in Sacramento. She spoke a day after conservative commentator Ben Shapiro gave a speech at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall under heavy security, while several hundred protesters held a rally nearby but were kept from entering the campus. Yiannopoulos, Coulter and another right-wing commentator, Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Trump, are scheduled to appear at UC Berkeley during a four-day event, starting Sept. 24, that sponsors are calling 'Free Speech Week.'" (09/16/17)


Libel law is how governments kill free speech

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

"It took half a millennium to arrive at institutions that established a clear wall here: the state may not, regardless of the excuse, interfere with people’s right to express a thought. Nor may the courts act on behalf of any private party that claims to have been injured, unless that private party can prove actually malicious intent and real damage. Today in the US, there is a high wall between the state and the freedom to speak in print (which includes digital publication). But how thick is this wall? There are always pressures to penetrate it." (09/08/17)


FL: White nationalists still plan on coming to University of Florida

Source: Gainesville Sun

"White nationalist Richard Spencer intends to come to Gainesville, whether he has a permit or not. 'I can confirm we are coming to the University of Florida, regardless,' said Cameron Padgett, who organizes speaking events for Spencer. 'Hopefully it’s in a controlled environment, like the Phillips Center.' Earlier this month, the University of Florida denied a permit, filed by Padgett, for Spencer and others aligned with Spencer’s National Policy Institute to speak at the Phillips Center on Sept. 12. … 'We were informed late this afternoon that representatives of the organization have retained legal counsel and plan to pursue efforts to hold this event as originally requested,' UF President Kent Fuchs said in a statement sent out to the university community at 8 p.m. Wednesday. … A counter-protest event on Facebook called 'No Nazis at UF — Protest Richard Spencer' is also planned for Sept. 12. More than 2,000 people have indicated they plan to attend." [editor's note: Spencer has as much a right to speak as anyone. But if his thug supporters show up looking for a fight, they won't get off as easily as they did in Charlottesville – TLK] (08/30/17)


In Europe, hate speech laws are often used to suppress and punish left-wing viewpoints

Source: The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald

"This is how hate speech laws are used in virtually every country in which they exist: not only to punish the types of right-wing bigotry that many advocates believe will be suppressed, but also a wide range of views that many on the left believe should be permissible, if not outright accepted. Of course that’s true: Ultimately, what constitutes 'hate speech' will be decided by majorities, which means that it is minority views that are vulnerable to suppression. … Even if 'hate speech' laws were magically applied by authorities exactly as advocates would wish — whereby only the ideas one hates would be suppressed and punished while the ideas one loves would be allowed to flourish — there would still be very good reasons to oppose such laws." (08/29/17)


Freedom of speech: A brief defence

Source: Mises UK
by Sean Gabb

"We do not have, in England, anything approaching a regular censorship. Even so, speech is less free than it used to be, and far less free than it ought to be. Let me, then, give a brief argument for greater freedom of speech than we enjoy. This covers both direct action by the authorities and many kinds of social pricing." (08/25/17)


Freedom for the speech we hate: The legal ins and outs of the right to protest

Source: LewRockwell.com
by John W Whitehead

"There was a time in this country, back when the British were running things, that if you spoke your mind and it ticked off the wrong people, you’d soon find yourself in jail for offending the king. Reacting to this injustice, when it was time to write the Constitution, America’s founders argued for a Bill of Rights, of which the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, was very clear about the fact that he wrote the First Amendment to protect the minority against the majority. What Madison meant by minority is 'offensive speech.' Unfortunately, we don’t honor that principle as much as we should today. In fact, we seem to be witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be 'acceptable' speech." (08/23/17)


What's caught in the wide net cast by hate speech policies?

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Sarah McLaughlin

"Facebook has a right — and, according to many users, a responsibility — to police its content to protect users from harassment or threats. But does it judiciously exercise that power? Now that Facebook is deleting nearly 300,000 posts it marks as 'hate speech' each month, it's worth asking that question — and recent coverage detailing the way Facebook removes this content suggests that its policies, and similar ones employed in other forums, deserve closer scrutiny." (08/22/17)


The ACLU is retreating from the fight for freedom

Source: spiked
by Wendy Kaminer

"It's official. In the wake of a fatally violent rally by armed neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will no longer defend the First Amendment rights of gun-toting protesters. '[W]e don't feel we have to represent any group — including white supremacists — seeking to demonstrate with firearms,' a spokeswoman explained. Second Amendment advocates have nothing to fear from this policy; the ACLU has never championed individual gun rights, which have flourished without its help. But First Amendment advocates — a diminishing minority on the left — should feel the chill. The ACLU is considering not just ignoring but actively opposing free speech for legally armed protesters." (08/22/17)


Practical reasons to support the right to free speech

Eric Schuler

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Eric Schuler

"In the wake of tragedies like what happened in Charlottesville, one common impulse to demand new limitations on free speech. This reaction is predictable, understandable, and mistaken." (08/16/17)


The Talk: How to "do" free speech

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

"Since James Madison first drafted the First Amendment in 1789, free speech has been a fundamental right for all Americans. But how do we do it? FIRE's 2017 summer interns sit us down and give us 'The Talk.'" [Flash video] (08/16/17)