Free speech or free speech zones?
We all know about the recent debacles in universities nationwide. Private colleges have made news with their “free speech zones” so much so that FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) was founded in 1998 intentionally to bring light to a growing problem in the public space.
Politicians and University officials abuse police and citizens alike with their “policies” restricting our 1st amendment rights. Being able to speak your mind is one of the most dangerous things a person can do and officials HATE that. They waste precious time and resources of our boys in blue and cause unneeded friction between law enforcement and the public with these unlawful policies.
One of the most resent examples of freedom of speech infringement at a public university starred Todd Friel, a well-known radio talk show host and open aired preacher.
Todd attempts to explain his understanding of the first amendment to a SC police officer. Stay tuned for video Fri. pic.twitter.com/Va2bHtW8OG
— Wretched (@WretchedRadio) May 4, 2016
While on Clemson University (a PUBLIC) university, interviewing students for his upcoming TV series “Untethered” Mr. Friel was stopped by an unidentified officer. This officer informing Friel that in order to continue the VOLUNTARY interviews with students that he had to register with the university. Later Friel was told it would take 72 hours to be informed about whether he RECEIVED permission for his “free speech event” even if he DID register.
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.
Notice that it’s not the officers’ fault. Both officers made it clear that they didn’t want to waste time on such bullshit but the university brought them in anyways.
“If you want to register that’s fine, ok? If you want to leave that’s fine. If you want us to call general counsel and make sure about which law. Cuz they’re the ones who actually help write the policy saying that you got to do it. If you want to push that envelope than that’s fine too. You just tell me what it is you’re gonna do cuz I’m not going to stay out here and debate this with you all day.”
Shawn Jones (Assistant Director for Client Services at Clemson University):
“You will not be allowed, until you go through the proper channels for the registration of your free speech event you will not be allowed to stay here on campus.”
“And by, so you gonna use the law to enforce that?”
“…when you are asked to leave by a university official and you refuse to you are now disrupting a higher education place. That is disrupting school.”
“…you can stop and talk to people, but as far as recording and all that, that is something you have to take up with them.”
Can you believe this? These poor officers had to stick around while this stupid debate is going on because Todd Friel is interviewing kids on public land at a public university WITH the STUDENTS permission, just not the school’s permission. This wasn’t Todd Friel being wrong, all he was doing was talking and recording WITH PERMISSION (I can’t stress that enough) and the poor officers were called in and couldn’t leave until the drama was over.
This right here is the kind of shit that causes so much friction between law enforcement and the public. The school acts like bullies then tattles when someone stands up to them. When are we going to have enough of this America? When did we give up our free speech to speak our minds and shout it from the mountain tops if we wanted? When did we let the big wigs have so much power that we are no longer able to exercise OUR power of words? First they control “free speech” on campus, next it’s open air preachers or PEACEFUL protests, then it’s public gatherings at all, then what?
It comes down to this one question: Are you going to stand up for your rights or are you going to force our law enforcement officers to pick between following Nazi orders or resigning? If it comes down to the wire, don’t blame our boys in blue, YOU let your rights be taken away through policy changes and city ordinances. 1984 was supposed to be a piece of FICTION, not a guide-book!
What are you going to do?