Tag Archives: First Amendment

Some Thoughts on Free Speech

My brother¬†Adam posted something on his blog yesterday that spurred me to write down some thoughts I’ve had about free speech lately.

Adam often comments on the Opinion Talk blog run by our local newspaper, The Fresno Bee. Recently, one of the editors posted a request that people who participate there refrain from using personal attacks in their discussions. This prompted a comment from someone named Brian Murray, who wrote, “Sounds like suppression of free speech,” and thus precipitated a lengthy conversation in the comments on the post about free speech and the proper methods of argumentation, among other, subsidiary topics. Not all of the comments were friendly, but Adam correctly points out that he stayed civil and rational where others failed.

After reading that conversation, I had some thoughts, which I posted as a comment on Adam’s blog. But they were so lengthy and substantial that I decided to share them here, too. Without further ado:

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What about the Rest of the First Amendment?

Last night, people in Fresno decided to “flex political muscle” by walking through the streets in a throng:

They were marching through the heart of Downtown Fresno to demand immigration reform.

. . . The message; today we march, tomorrow we vote.

Many marchers also came to protest recent raids in Valley communities, like Mendota, where federal agents rounded up illegal immigrants and separating families.

Wait, I have an idea. How about instead of just walking around in the streets, yelling, waving signs, blocking traffic, and such, you make reasoned arguments? How about that? Maybe you could do some of these activities:

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Right to Protest

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Pacifists have just as much right to protest as anybody. In fact, sometimes I even join them. However, last I checked, protesters didn’t have the right to demand no barriers/pens, free water, free transportation, and monetary compensation.

UFPJ Accepts Rally Location for Aug. 29