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Free speech, but only for some

Well, mumpish beat me to it in the fifth paragraph of this post. I'd seen a link from MetaFilter this morning regarding the free speech zones, and had intended to write about it (it's a different link from the Wired article). Unfortunately, just as I was about to start typing, my husband called to warn me of a wreck he'd heard about on the radio, indicating that I needed to get on the road to work sooner rather than later.

In short, my perspective is simply that all of America's public space is supposed to be a free speech zone. Although I've recently made posts expressing my disapproval of rude remarks made by Dick Cheney and Teresa Heinz Kerry, and I do still feel that both displayed poor judgment and a lack of tact in the way they conveyed their sentiments, I absolutely and unquestionably defend their right to speak their minds.

The sheer irony of Democratic speakers aggrandizing this constitutional right while it is denied to those outside the convention building is appallingly hypocritical and, dare I say it, un-American. As mumpish mentioned, the Republicans will be giving protesters similar treatment when their convention rolls around, so they're culpable as well. In neither case is it a good thing.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
Isn't that amazing? I remember when they first tried it here in Seattle during the WTO protests, it was an idea that was so amazingly far-fetched in my mind that it seemed like an aberration. I never believed that we'd see a thing such as "free speech zones" or "no protest zones" in the US. Call me naive, but I tend to have a lot of faith in our constitutional processes, so even when they were talking about it on the news the night before enforcing it, I was thinking "No friggin way will that be allowed to fly."

On a related note, did you catch the Daily Show where he visited the Free Speech zone in Boston? That bit was hysterical, what I love about the Daily Show is no one is safe from satire, "Do you work for The Matrix?" was such a great line for that kid.
Jul. 28th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC)
I remember you mentioning that back in the day, and I tell you, Tag . . . I can't believe it has gone this far. Like you, I never thought it would fly, and I'm just so shocked that it has.

Wish I'd caught that on the Daily Show -- sounds like good stuff. :)
Jul. 28th, 2004 09:09 am (UTC)
Oh man, it was genius. First he went to where the free speech zones were set up in Boston with a member of the Boston PD (can't remember whether it was the Chief Of Police or a PR flack), and goes "How glorious? I can say anything I want in here? The sense of freedom is outstanding!". Then they cut to him interviewing a lawyer in the ACLU and is aksing her "You don't like Free Speech Zones? Are you a communist?". Then they show him interviewing two members of the Black Tea Society, both young, one is in the uniform of anarchism that's so prevelant today (all black, camo pants, bandana), the other in a suit with the sci-fi looking narrow sunglasses and shaved head (that's where the Matrix comment came from, and it was so apt it made both of us laugh hysterically). Then they cut back to him with the Boston PD, and he's putting some rocks and earth from the free speech zone in a handkerchief, "I now have a little bit of free speech with me wherever I go". Then cut back to the ACLU, and he shows her the rocks, "This means I can say whatever I want wherever I go, and I think you're UnAmerican, fuck you, free speech rules!". Then cut back to the PD and he starts going off, "Cocksuckers! Asslickers!!" just a stream of obscenities until the cop goes "Okay, that's enough" and leaves. (Of course everything was bleeped, but you knew what he was saying). Of course I'm paraphrasing and shortening the whole thing, I saw it about a week ago and memory is too damn selective. ;-)

The best part was I was reading a collum on one of the anarcho sites, and they were talking about the ACLU and Black Tea bits, stating that the Daily Show shouldn't have trivialized those orgs, and I was just shaking my head that people can get so wrapped up in their little crusades that they don't realize why those were effective. Plus it scares me a bit, anytime you can't laugh at your own religion, you might want to rethink your views.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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