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Free Speech in a Globalized World
14 April 2010: Salman Rushdie, David Ignatius, Michael Schudson, and Lee C. Bollinger spoke on issues related to President Bollinger's recent book, “Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free…

By: Heyman Center for the Humanities

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Free Speech in a Globalized World – Video

Ayaan Hirsi Ali “Free Speech at YALE”?
Free Speech at YALE, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Fox News Channel, THE FIVE, Commentary, Analysis, Politics, Panel, News, Report .

By: shirzadegangallery1 .

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali "Free Speech at YALE"? – Video

Penn State YAF Tables In A 'Free Speech Zone'
Penn State YAF Chapter took to a designated “free speech zone” on campus to hand out constitutions on Constitution Day. They also were informing students of the ridiculous speech code policies…


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Penn State YAF Tables In A ‘Free Speech Zone’ – Video

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech.” But what does this freedom of speech encompass?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), freedom of speech doesn’t necessarily mean you can say whatever you want whenever you want to.

When might your freedom of speech be limited? Here are five examples:

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Not-So-Free Speech: 5 Limits on 1st Amendment Rights

Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat
Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat talk about free speech. This was made for English class.

By: Joana Rodrigues

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Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat – Video

Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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Free speech goes to court in Singapore

In the fall of 1964, UC Berkeley administrators told students that they could no longer engage in political organizing at the entrance to campus. This directive sparked a massive backlash from student activists who refused to stop organizing and ultimately staged a sit-in on campus, launching what became known as the Free Speech Movement.

Lynne Hollander, then a UC Berkeley senior, remembers certain moments well including the time a group of arrested students attempted to sing “We Shall Overcome” inside Santa Rita Jail. In a recent interview, Hollander, now 73, recalled the fear students experienced behind bars. “We were no longer facing this sort of liberal UC administration. We were facing cops with guns. That has a very different effect upon on you.”

In an upcoming theatrical production commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, Hollander will revisit the events of 1964 in a way she never has before through the eyes of a UC Berkeley official whom students were up against decades earlier. Hollander will inhabit the role of then-Vice Chancellor Alex Sherriffs. Stagebridge, an Oakland-based nonprofit arts organization, is producing the musical production, called FSM, with performances at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco this weekend and at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Thrust Stage the following weekend.

“If we do it well, it brings it all to life again,” said Hollander, an associate producer and historical consultant for the musical, and the widow of Mario Savio, a central leader in the protests. Even in the first workshops of the production, she said, “You had that same sense of standing up for this cause that you deeply believed in and feeling very triumphant.”

Stagebridge, a theater company that offers classes and performance opportunities for senior citizens, has been working on FSM for more than a year, developing the project in collaboration with Berkeley Rep and the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation. The co-composers and co-lyricists of the show are Daniel Savio, Mario Savio’s son, and Hollander, and Bruce Barthol, a Berkeley native who participated in the protests as a sixteen-year-old freshman.

The production features a cast of sixteen actors a mix of older performers who lived through the events in some capacity and younger performers playing the parts of student activists. The story primarily takes place in the 1960s, but also includes scenes in the present day, featuring Free Speech alumni fifty years later. Actors take on multiple roles. Hollander, a Stagebridge company member, also plays a present-day graduate student activist, for example.

The show features a diverse musical score, which includes folk and rock music reminiscent of the era as well as more traditional musical theater-style songs, in a similar vein as Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, said Daniel Savio.

With the production reaching Bay Area audiences exactly fifty years after the protests first erupted, FSM is a unique way to honor the legacy of the free speech movement through a project guided by people who lived through the historic events, said Stagebridge executive director Marge Betley.

“It’s such a part of the identity of this region,” she said. “I hope that what audiences will get out of it is in some ways similar to what our participants get out of it. For people who were coming of age at that time, it’s a great way to look back … and for people who are younger, I think it will give them an insight into [the protests] that is richer and more complex than some of the stereotypes they may think of when they think of the Free Speech Movement.”

The story centers on real players in the conflict including Mario Savio and then-UC president Clark Kerr as well as composite and fictional characters. FSM playwright Joan Holden, a longtime writer with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, said she drew inspiration from focus groups she held with former student protesters. “The thing people said over and over again was, ‘We grew up.’ It was about busting loose from the university’s parental authority.”

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Relive the Famous Youth Rebellion of the 1960s

As I have often reported, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) continually fights in the courts and media to protect the free speech rights of students and faculty on college campuses no matter their politics or religion (or absence of any).

However, much remains for FIRE to do to educate students on why and how they are Americans. Earlier this month, that defender of Americas most primal identity warned:

As millions of college students arrive on campus this fall many for the first time few of them realize that nearly 59 percent of our nations colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict speech protected by the First Amendment.

Too many students will realize that the rights they took for granted as Americans have been denied to them only after they face charges and disciplinary action for speaking their minds (Students Return to Campus Censorship, But Fight Back with FIRE,, Sept. 2).

A particularly startling example of the cult of censorship among many college administrators is a Sept. 5 email message to University of California-Berkeley students, faculty and staff from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

He began by noting that it is the 50th anniversary of the extraordinary Free Speech Movement by University of California students, which would have gladdened the hearts of James Madison, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

But then listen to how this universitys commander-in-chief defined free speech:

We can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility …

Insofar as we wish to honor the ideal of Free Speech, therefore, we should do so by exercising it graciously. This is true not just of political speech on Sproul Plaza (on campus), but also in our everyday interactions with each other in the classroom, in the office, and in the lab.

In other words: Be polite, or shut up.

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Struggles to protect free speech on our college campuses continue

Sen. Flake Speaks in Opposition of Constitutional Amendment to Limit Free Speech
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) yesterday took to the Senate floor to speak in opposition to legislation that would amend the Constitution to limit free speech u…

By: Sen. Jeff Flake

Sen. Flake Speaks in Opposition of Constitutional Amendment to Limit Free Speech – Video

We often hear the clich that a politician or celebrity has found his voice.

But what do we really mean when we say this?

In a speech to this years incoming students at Franklin & Marshall College, Dean Hammer, a professor of government, defined voice as the communication of what matters to you. It is what you stand for in the presence of others. But it doesnt just happen. It takes work. It takes discipline, and it takes practice.

In other words, we dont passively find our voice; we cultivate it activelyand college may be the quintessential time in our lives to do that.

As a new academic year begins, we hear vibrant student voices everywhereperforming at our open mic nights, running workshops on sexual misconduct policies, helping each other on our practice fields, speaking on panels about summer research projects.

But theres a rub.

In todays scorched-earth media culture, with so much heat and so little light, we all face twin temptations: Self-silencing to avoid being attackedor, to pre-empt that, speaking out too quickly.

So how can students use their college years to do the work needed to break free and develop their own voices?

First, ironically, by listening.

Our powers of observation, our discerning ears, will give us insights and growth that shape how we see and how we speak. This process demands that we slow down. We need to learn to hear others. We need to try to comprehend the importance of questions we havent asked, ideas we dont agree with, life stories we havent lived. The great novelist Henry James put it this way: Try to become someone on whom nothing is lost.

Originally posted here:
Cultivating Student Voices and Free Speech on College Campuses

Sep 152014

As election season enters full swing, Senate Democrats are taking the opportunity to garner votes by attempting to rewrite the Bill of Rights, something that hasnt been done since those rights were enshrined. They want to ask the nation to change the First Amendment so that it protects political speech only up to a point.

The timing is right. Nationally eight Senate races have already received more than $10 million each in outside spending, according to the Federal Election Commission. In Michigan, huge amounts of outside money have flooded into the race between Rep. Gary Peters and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

The group of senators supporting such a drastic move know it will never pass the extensive process needed to amend the Constitution. But it gives them an opportunity to try to convince Americans once again that corporations and wealthy individuals who give money to political candidates or campaigns should be stripped of their fundamental right to free speech.

The move is blatantly hypocritical, since the supporting senators have all received huge donations themselves. But it is unfortunately the logical end of the flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as McCain-Feingold) signed into law under former President George W. Bush.

The Supreme Court has upheld the principle that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech to individuals, organizations and even corporations, and that dedicating time and money to political candidates and causes is protected speech.

Though there are limits on what amount an individual can give to any one political candidate, most other extreme limitations on spending and speech have been struck down by the court.

As much as this debate has already focused on Republican donors chiefly the Koch brothers, who fund mega-PACs such as Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and others Democrats benefit from huge campaign donations as much, if not more.

Climate change activist Tom Steyer has given more than $20 million to support Democratic candidates in this election cycle. Hes followed by former New York Mayor and gun control activist Michael Bloomberg, who has given more than $9 million this year, almost entirely to liberal groups.

Both sides take money from rich people and corporations. And certainly it would be nice if there were less money in politics.

But the Constitution does not permit politicians to place arbitrary restrictions on speech. Protecting the First Amendment should not give way to those so determined to gain a partisan edge that they are willing to rewrite the fundamental rights of Americans.

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Free speech needs no amending

Another week, another ultimately meaningless free speech controversy on an American college campus. Should Ayaan Hirsi Ali be allowed to speak at Yale? If only there were some simple way of settling these nonstop arguments.

Colleges invite prominent people to give speeches. These prominent people are too conservative, or too liberal, or too foreign, or too fascist, or too counterrevolutionary for some student faction or other. Students protest. They petition. They wave signs and send letters and yell and maybe occupy a building. The college withdraws its invitation to the speaker under pressure. The speaker is mad. The students are triumphant, but mad. The college is cowed, and looks stupid, as well as cowardly. Then all of America’s most boring pundits wring their hands over tolerance and diversity and The Kids These Days. Nobody wins in this process: not the schools, not the students, not the grownups who wanted to talk to the students, and certainly not the average reader of the average pundit, who is forced to listen to moralist pontificating that is undoubtedly more unbearable than any fascist imperialist political idea that the worst campus speaker could ever put forward.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says mean things about Islam sometimes. She’s already been invited and disinvited as Brandeis University’s commencement speaker this year. Now she has been invited to speak at Yale. Oh no! Protests! Upsetness! Much hand-wringing! Whatever shall be done? Inside Higher Ed quotes a statement from Yale’s Muslim Student Association:

“We sympathize with the unfortunate circumstances that Ms. Hirsi Ali faced in her Muslim household as a child and we recognize that such experiences do exist in many countries, including Muslim-majority ones,” the group wrote. “Our concern is that Ms. Hirsi Ali is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so.”

Naturally, the calls for rejecting her invitation to speak, or for adding speakers to the program who will say the opposite of what she says, drew their own objections.

Since this sort of thing will continue to happen forever, allow us to suggest:


1) People who have controversial, objectionable, or even wrong opinions will be allowed to speak on college campuses.

2) Those who disagree with these people will be allowed to wave signs and yell and protest them and put on their own events with their own speakers with different views.

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Easy Rules for Free Speech on Campus

Three Martini Lunch: Free Speech?
Jim and Greg discuss Obama's tanking approval numbers, Harry Reid's bid to hobble the First Amendment, and the Ray Rice scandal.

By: National Review

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Three Martini Lunch: Free Speech? – Video

Hatch Slams Senate Democrats Latest Attack on Free Speech
September 9, 2014 Senate Floor.

By: SenatorOrrinHatch

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Hatch Slams Senate Democrats Latest Attack on Free Speech – Video

Political Insurance: Bill Whittle's Free Speech is Under Attack!
When Bill wanted a normal insurance policy on his property, he was told insurance companies won't do it, because he says stuff that's 'too risky' politically.

By: PJ Media

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Political Insurance: Bill Whittle’s Free Speech is Under Attack! – Video

9/11 Protesters Rights Put In A Cage
Lee Ann McAdoo on the scene in NY City at the 9/11 Memorial reveals how peoples rights to free speech have now been put into a little cage called the free speech zone far away from the eyes…

By: TheAlexJonesChannel

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9/11 Protesters Rights Put In A Cage – Video

Far Right Groups Pose Serious Security Threats
This segment originally aired on the September 7th, 2014 episode of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. If you've spent any time listening to right wing hate talkers, you might think that the…

By: Ring of Fire Radio

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Far Right Groups Pose Serious Security Threats – Video

Allow Free Speech, You Communist Bastards!
Voicemail on communist bastards (Dave and Louis) On the Bonus Show: What not to do to an off duty US Marshall, cardboard license plates, restorers destroy the world's oldest pyramid,…

By: David Pakman Show

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Allow Free Speech, You Communist Bastards! – Video

GOP Boys Club Doesnt Understand Women
This segment originally aired on the September 7th, 2014 episode of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. Republican leadership recently got together to try to find out why they are having such…

By: Ring of Fire Radio

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GOP Boys Club Doesnt Understand Women – Video

Sep 132014

Free Birdi
First of 4 parts, interview with Amardeep Birdi sing stop the war supporter sectioned under the mental health act for saying the word 'Parliament'. Part 2:…

By: U.K. Free Speech

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Free Birdi – Video

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