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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is pledging to bring a pro-free-speech message with her when she visits China later this month.

As Beijing took a harder line on pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong Wednesday, Ms. Wynne came out on the side of the protesters. When she leads a trade mission to China Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, she said, she will not shy away from telling Chinese officials that they must allow peaceful protests to go ahead.


No matter where I am, I will reinforce my belief and our commitment to freedom of speech and peoples ability to gather and express themselves peacefully, she said at a Queens Park press conference reannouncing the trade mission. I will say that anywhere and I will continue to reinforce it.

The Premier said she, along with International Trade Minister Michael Chan, met with the Chinese consul-general Tuesday and gave him exactly this message.

Ms. Wynne, however, refused to go a step further and say whether the Chinese government should grant the aims of the protesters fully democratic elections that dont require candidates be vetted by Beijing.

Asked if the people of Hong Kong should have the right to elect their leaders, she said: For me, its very important that we defend the right of people to express their opinion in Canada, in China or in the world.

Ms. Wynne on Wednesday also attended a flag raising to mark Chinas National Day, which commemorates the day Mao Zedong proclaimed the Peoples Republic in 1949.

Provincial politicians typically shy away from raising issues of human rights and democracy during overseas visits, preferring to focus purely on trade and leave larger political questions to the federal government. But Ms. Wynne indicated she would line up behind Canadas Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, who has also called for China to respect the protesters.

We support the ability of people in whatever country they reside to be able to express freely their opinions in a peaceful environment, Ms. Wynne said. We certainly follow the lead of and work with the federal government in terms of those relationships. Our commitment to supporting people to express themselves freely in a peaceful setting, that is absolutely firm.

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Amid Hong Kong protests, Wynne vows to promote free speech on China visit

Fifty years ago Wednesday, a small campus protest at UC Berkeley exploded into what came to became known as the Free Speech Movement paving the way for Vietnam War demonstrations, the Occupy protests, and more. Now it's being celebrated by the university.

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KCBS Cover Story: UC Berkeley Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of Free Speech Movement

David Cameron Announces the end of free speech. MUST SEE!
'David Cameron UN Speech' David Cameron Speech United Nations General Assembly UK Parliament to vote on joining airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq UK PM David Cameron UN Speech ISIS David Cameron…

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BERKELEY — Fifty years ago this week, UC Berkeley students barred from promoting civil rights and other causes on campus staged a peaceful and relentless protest, demanding — and months later, gaining — their constitutional rights to free expression and assembly.

The free speech movement made an unmistakable stamp on a campus that prides itself on its legacy of social activism, and its spirit of protest quickly spread to colleges across the nation.

The victory showed people what free speech movement leader Bettina Aptheker now teaches her students at UC Santa Cruz: “When large numbers of people can be mobilized and organized in a mass movement, you can make significant change.”

Discussions take place at tables set up in Sproul Plaza on the University of California Berkeley, Calif., campus on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. The Free Speech Movement that began in late September 1964 paved the way for broader freedom of expression on college campuses across the country. At Cal, the movement began after the administration tried to ban students’ political activity — including tabling for social or political causes. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group) ( Laura A. Oda )

Students at Cal and other colleges would go on to fight for women’s rights, gay rights, disability rights, and — much later — against apartheid in South Africa before settling into a broader activism today that engages thousands of students in many groups, causes and campaigns.

They also would campaign, successfully, for ethnic studies programs on their campuses in the late 1960s and ’70s, demanding scholarly programs on the history and experiences of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

Massive student-led demonstrations have greatly diminished since the 1960s, when Cal history professor David Hollinger was a graduate student who rallied to support the free speech movement.

Today’s political problems and injustices, he said, can be more difficult to pinpoint than the Vietnam War, Jim Crow racial-segregation laws and campus regulations denying students constitutional rights.

“It’s a little bit harder to know where to get a grip on it,” Hollinger said.

But many students, he said, have embraced other kinds of activism.

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UC Berkeley celebrates free speech movement's 50th anniversary

For two decades Ive told people my job is to fight for their rights and never was this truer than on Saturday. I had come from Chicago to defend free speech and oppose an archaic, unconstitutional blasphemy law that was being enforced by a rogue District Attorney in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

The DA, Bill Higgins, was viciously targeting a 14-year-old teenager after he posted an obscene photo on Facebook in which he was simulating oral sex with a ceramic Jesus yard gnome. Of course, this prank was offensive or what some might call being a teenager. However, the self-righteous Higgins took it upon himself to be the great defender of Christendom and threw the book(s) the Bible and the Law at this young man.

This religiously motivated action was quite odd coming from Higgins, who hasnt exactly been a pillar of morality. For example, six years ago the renegade District Attorney admitted to having sex in his courthouse office with a woman following a meeting of the Bedford County Republicans, in which he then served as vice-chair. His sexual liaison accused him of sexual assault and sued him, but the charges were eventually dropped.

Higgins decided to prosecute the child under an obscure Pennsylvania law which states that desecration includes physically mistreating [objects] in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.

While Higgins maintains that he is simply an upstanding district attorney who wishes to uphold a Pennsylvania blasphemy law, his own statements on this case betray that claim. In an interview with local media, Higgins stated:

This troubled young man offended the sensibilities and morals of our community. His actions constitute a violation of the law, and he will be prosecuted accordingly. If that tends to upset the anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten-Commandments crowd, I make no apologies.

I guess if anyone should know about desecrating Christianity it is Higgins, who seems to be a troubled man who is desperately battling his private demons on the public stage at the expense of a teenage boy. By making this incendiary statement, it is clear that Higgins is more of a frustrated right-wing ideologue than a responsible district attorney. Instead of fighting real crime, Higgins is fighting a culture war.

Which brings us back to Saturday. Three organizations, American Atheists, Pennsylvania Non-Believers, and Truth Wins Out, which I am the Executive Director, held a successful protest, where several dozen people rallied in favor of free speech.

Unfortunately, it was marred when a belligerent group of counter protesters, including two from what appeared to be a motorcycle gang, crashed the protest and threatened those in attendance, including me and the 14-year old boy arrested for suggestively posing with the Jesus statue.

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Protecting Free Speech is Worth Fighting For

British Prime Minister David Cameron is pictured as he listens to a speech by Mayor of London Boris Johnson on the third day of the annual British Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England, on Sept. 30, 2014. Getty

LONDON — Britain’s interior minister has proposed new powers to bar people with extremist views from appearing on television or publishing on social media even if they are not breaking any laws.

Home Secretary Theresa May told a conference of the governing Conservatives that if re-elected next year the party will introduce powers to disrupt people who “spread poisonous hatred” even within the law.

May said Tuesday that only a minority of extremists are violent, but there is “a thread that binds” nonviolent extremism to terrorism.

May says tougher powers are needed to stop young people becoming radicalized. She says at least 500 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq, mainly to fight with militant groups.

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Tuesday morning, speaking to the BBC, David Cameron said, “the problem that we have had is this distinction of saying ‘we will only go after you if you are an extremist that directly supports violence’ it has left the field open for extremists who know how not to step over the line.”

Cameron spoke on the heels of the release of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, who was picked up along with eight other men on Sept. 25 and held for just one day.

Choudary, who had faced similar detentions in the past, and the other suspects were arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism.

Will terror fears curb free speech in Britain?

Is it right to have a lower minimum wage for those aged 18-21? – Free Speech – BBC Three BBC Free Speech audience and panel debates minimum wage in Cardiff.

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Is it right to have a lower minimum wage for those aged 18-21? – Free Speech – BBC Three – Video

Free Speech by Soul Mystic (Crystal Roca Instrumental Courtesy of DPS Global)
Track #4 off the Beat Album Without Change – – The Instrumental to Soul Mystic's “Free Speech” in and of itself is a hot beat don't get me wrong. Crystal…

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Free Speech by Soul Mystic (Crystal Roca Instrumental Courtesy of DPS Global) – Video

Free Speech TV Ring of Fire featuring Howard Nations: The Dixieland Dilemma
Mike Papantonio, Host of Ring of Fire, discusses with prominent trial lawyer Howard Nations, the impact of Republican governance of Southern states on the perpetuation of poverty among minorities…

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Free Speech TV Ring of Fire featuring Howard Nations: The Dixieland Dilemma – Video


Onewayto honor the Free Speech Movements 50th anniversaryistocorrect misconceptions about it.Visiting lecturer and New York University professor Robert Cohen a UC Berkeley alumnus who received his Ph.D. in history here in 1987 sets the record straight about severalFSM myths. Cohen is the author of several books on Mario Savio, including Freedoms Orator, this falls On the Same Page common text for incoming students.

Cohen: The FSMs core organizers had no such intention. Veterans of the Bay Area and Southern civil rights movements, these students in fall 1964 planned to continue their campaign to end discriminatory hiring practices among Bay Area employers and secure voting rights for African Americans in Mississippi.

NYU professor Robert Cohen speaks at Berkeleyabout Free Speech Movement history. (UC Berkeley photo byHulda Nelson)

When banned from doing this work on campus, they initially responded by meeting several times with Dean of Students Katherine Towle. Tactics escalated only when she made it clear the university wouldnt budge. But even then, there was no planned takeover of any campus building.

The two sit-ins that followed, in Sproul Hall on Sept. 30 and on Sproul Plaza Oct. 1 and 2, erupted spontaneously and were non-violent. The first was a response by hundreds of students to not being cited for their proud defiance of the ban only five students received citations.The second was after Jack Weinberg, one of the protesters staffing a political table on Sproul Plaza, was arrested. As he was put into a police car on the plaza, a crowd of students emerged and chanted Take us all and Sit down, sparking a 32-hour sit-in.

That sit-in ended peacefully again contradicting the stereotype of UC Berkeley radicals as extremists because Mario Savio and other protesters negotiated a pact with UC President Kerr that set up campus committees to examine free-speech rules and the disciplining of the protesters.

Savio supported the pact and, in his speech atop the police car, urged protesters alsoto accept the pact and disperse, which they did. During the month after the pact was negotiated, FSM leaders placed a moratorium on defiance of the ban. Only after negotiations broke down later that fall, over the administrations insistence on retaining the power to discipline students for illegal advocacy, did the FSM activists again begin defying the rules.

As for Savio being the leader of the FSM: From the start, the leadership was collective; it was governed by democratically elected representatives. It had neither a maximum leader nor a president.

Savio became a media star because his oratory was so eloquent.He is remembered as a firebrand, but his speeches were more explanatory that incendiary. Savio didnt hate the university, but was an idealist who wanted it governed more democratically. He loved learning and was a brilliant student, especially in science, and spent his last years, after getting bachelors and masters degrees in physics, teaching at the university level.

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Busted: Three Free Speech Movement myths

Photograph by Rebecca Ingram

Many students, faculty and staff were upset a few weeks ago by a preacher in front of Sherrod Library harassing students.

However, because ETSU is a public school, it has an obligation to provide free speech to visitors who follow university guidelines, even if the content of their speech is unpopular.

If theyre threatening, if they pull out a knife and say Im going to kill you or if they punch somebody, then the university can actually do something, but if they insult somebody, [ETSU] can probably not, University Counsel Ed Kelly said.

Kelly said ETSU is a public forum and, as such, must go out of its way to guarantee a conducive speaking environment for visitors.

If youre the sixth circuit court of appeals or a district court judge, you might look at the situation where someone says, Look, they called me a whore, and it affects my education, and the court will say, Well, was there another place you could go and not hear that? Kelly said.

While private universities can control the kind of speech allowed on campus, a public university is subject to the requirements of any other government institution.

What the government will allow are time/place/manner restrictions, meaning that we cant regulate the speaker in a public forum, Kelly said.

There are some exceptions. If I make a direct threat Im going to kill you as opposed to you should be taken out and shot, one is a general threat and the other is a general statement.

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ETSU obligated to protect free speech

Published September 29, 2014

ANKARA, Turkey A human rights group is calling on Turkey to take steps to protect free speech, the right to peaceful protests and the rule of law.

In a report released Monday, Human Rights Watch criticized government moves to control the media and the Internet and its clampdown on critics and protests.

The group said that while thousands face prosecution for taking part in anti-government protests in 2013, few police officers have been held to account for abuses. It also said the government had weakened the rule of law by responding to a corruption scandal with laws that curb the independence of the judiciary.

The group, however, welcomed the government’s efforts to forge peace with Kurdish rebels to end a 30 year-old conflict.

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Human Rights Watch calls on Turkey to protect free speech, rule of law

Complaint about free speech –Leigh Touchton @ LCC 2014-09-09

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Free Speech TV Ring of Fire featuring Howard Nations: Far Right Groups Pose Serious Security Threats
Farron Cousins, Host of Ring of Fire, discusses with prominent trial lawyer Howard Nations, how if you've spent any time listening to right wing hate talkers…

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Free Speech TV Ring of Fire featuring Howard Nations: Far Right Groups Pose Serious Security Threats – Video

Mary Beth Tinker free speech advocate, Sept 25, 2013 youtube original

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Mary Beth Tinker free speech advocate, Sept 25, 2013 youtube original – Video

Can Students Change the World? Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s
Author Robert Cohen delivers the keynote address for the 2014 On the Same Page program. This year's theme is the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, and the selected book is Cohen's…

By: UCBerkeleyEvents

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Can Students Change the World? Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s – Video


In the first month of the fall semester, we have seen a growing activist spirit on many campuses, including our own, prompted by a wide array of local, national and international issues. Our Universitys financial contributions to the surrounding community, racial profiling and the militarization of police forces in the wake of events in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as escalating tensions in the Middle East are among the concerns that have prompted action by members of our campus community. One of the overriding issues of concern is the limits of free speech and the relationship between free speech and civility.

With very few exceptions, rallies, protests and other public events, as well as individual speech and writing intended to highlight the concerns mentioned above and others, are important, desired and expected features of our campus climate, and I commend everyone involved for allowing us to learn from each other while confronting important and difficult issues. But what of civility?

Civility is an important value in a university community and a community at large and one that we at Cornell must strive to maintain. However, as events on other campuses last spring and again this fall have shown, calls for civility in dealing with highly charged issues can be perceived as veiled assaults on free speech, which is also an essential university value and one deeply tied to academic freedom. Are these cherished principles of civility and free speech potentially antithetical? How can we reconcile them? Is there a bright line we must not cross?

It has been a fundamental precept of American law, reinforced by U.S. Supreme Court decisions, that odious, offensive or hateful speech is nonetheless protected speech. For this reason, hate speech codes at public universities that prohibited and punished persons for offensive speech that stigmatizes persons as a group on the basis of their race, national origin, sex or sexual orientation have been struck down as unconstitutional.

By contrast, disciplinary codes that focus narrowly on behavior or conduct that is threatening or harassing to individuals such as our own Campus Code of Conduct are consistent with First Amendment principles, and prudent to have as a policy matter.

As our Campus Code notes, In a university community, as in society as a whole, freedom of speech cannot be absolute. Speech that is libelous, or that incites a crowd to riot, deserves no protection. Perhaps no one, in real life, has ever falsely shouted Fire! in a crowded theater, but surely no one has a right to do so. Within such commonly accepted limits, however, freedom of speech should be the paramount value in a university community. Because it is a special kind of community, whose purpose is the discovery of truth through the practice of free inquiry, a university has an essential dependence on a commitment to the values of unintimidated speech. To curb speech on the grounds that an invited speaker is noxious, that a cause is evil, or that such ideas will offend some listeners is therefore inconsistent with a universitys purpose. [Article III A 2]

The Campus Code similarly recognizes that reasonable time, place and manner restrictions are appropriate to balance the right of free speech with other protected interests [Article III B 1]. Thistopic, controversial to some on campus, presently is the subject of discussion and review by the University Assembly.

Those who object to a speaker, as the Campus Code explains, also have rights to make their own position known by a variety of methods as long as they do not interfere with the speakers right to be heard or the right of others to listen. And, of course, they are free to organize their own events to offer alternate points of view.

In the interest of providing for the safety of all in our community, we cannot and must not tolerate speech that is harassing or threatening to individuals or that incites others to commit violent acts. As long as that line is not crossed, however, we must let free speech happen and, in fact, foster it. The antidote to odious, offensive or hateful speech must be more speech, not less speech. It remains the place of the University to encourage open and free expression, even about topics that generate strong feelings and even when the views being expressed may be seen by some as upsetting or offensive.

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SKORTON | Civility and Free Speech: Are They Incompatible?

Robert Cohen commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement
On Tuesday Sept. 23, Robert Cohen, NYU professor and author of “Freedom's Orator”, discussed Mario Savio's role in promoting free speech and social justice d…

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Robert Cohen commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement – Video

David Cameron Announces the END OF FREE SPEECH!
By freeradiorevolution David “SCUMBAG” Cameron announces the END OF FREE SPEECH!

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David Cameron Announces the END OF FREE SPEECH! – Video

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