UC Berkeley is an exceptional institution whose history includes the 1964-65 protests that gained fame as the Free Speech Movement. Long known as a hotbed of left-wing activism, it has lately gained attention as a place where right-wingers venture at their peril. In February, the administration abruptly called off a talk by then-Breitbart News troll Milo Yiannopoulos after protesters threw stones and firebombs and smashed windows.
Today’s conservatives may be equally worried about freedom’s prospects, but they tend to blame the overbearing state and its pensioners and pandering politicians, not the rapacity of the rich and their other investors and managers. The original Boston Tea Party targeted crony capitalists, and today’s conservatives would be wise to follow its example.
Bills have been introduced over the past month in states including North Dakota, Indiana, and Iowa that would impose measures such as harsher penalties for demonstrators who disrupt traffic, and scrapping punishment for drivers who unintentionally strike protesters blocking their vehicles.
Obviously, there are effective boycotts and ineffective ones, stupid boycotts and well-directed ones, boycotts by the right, left and middle. The point here is that for whatever reason, a person has a right to withhold his or her custom. A consumer boycott does not muzzle anyone. Freedom of speech doesn’t end at the cash register.
If they really cared about individual rights in education, they’d have to start by recognizing that the right has been dining out on the follies of American “liberals” for so long that it has forgotten how to cook for itself, and has abandoned the kitchen to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.
By Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times In a ruling that could have reverberations around the country, a federal judge on Thursday struck down an Ohio law that bars individuals from knowingly making false statements about political candidates. The decision from District Court Judge Timothy Black follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in June that […]
By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The free-speech right to protest against the president does not guarantee that opponents can be as close to the chief executive as supporters, the Supreme Court said Tuesday, throwing out a suit brought by critics of former President George W. Bush. Instead, the justices said Secret Service […]
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun BALTIMORE — Vegetarian activists have sued in federal court two Baltimore police officers who forced them to stop leafleting at the Inner Harbor — the latest legal front after years of disputes over the constitutional rights of protesters in the city. A former Baltimore teacher and three other vegetarian activists […]
By Colton Gavin, Cronkite News Service WASHINGTON — Gerardo Torres had every intention of getting arrested at the White House, but he was still a little nervous — the immigration activist said previous arrests at protests in other cities had been “a little rough.” “But when I was in D.C., it was less trouble,” said […]
By Joe Rodriguez, San Jose Mercury News MORGAN HILL, Calif. — Standing silently at attention Monday morning — Cinco de Mayo — almost 50 self-described “Patriots” held tall U.S flags in front of a high school still at the center of a public debate over free speech and cultural pride. “We’re just here to support […]
By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday sounded ready to rule that a public employee who testifies about corruption in his government department cannot be fired for revealing the truth. But first justices will need to confront their own 2006 ruling that sharply limited the free-speech rights of such […]
By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court next week will consider for the first time whether states may enforce laws that make it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates. The justices will hear an anti-abortion group’s free-speech challenge to an Ohio law that was invoked in 2010 […]
The fundraising environment has changed in the wake of Citizens United and other Supreme Court rulings that favor “free speech” (the right of corporations to use money to influence elections) over citizen-backed campaign finance rules. But one Republican is taking better advantage than the rest: [Mitt] Romney thus far appears to be the only GOP […]