Monday, November 10, 2008

Free Speech in the "New" America

Perhaps there's more than the video shows, but you can watch almost 3 minutes and see no reference to anything other than wearing the wrong t-shirt.

I wonder if all the lefties who have been so vocal about the so-called loss of civil liberties during the past 8 years have any problems with what's shown in the video. I somehow doubt they do.


Steve USMA '85 said...


Come on, I think there is a lot more that the video doesn't show. With the crowd chanting pro-Obama slogans as the young man is led away, I think it is safe to say that he was not welcome in the crowd. I do not doubt that he purposely wore the shirt in order to incite a reaction and had his buddies there to film the hoped-for altercation.
The police, hoping to avert the altercation, asked the man to leave to protect both himself and the crowd. Police attempting to keep the peace and arresting someone who intentionally is trying to disturb the peace.
Key to note in my opinion is that the individual was trying to mingle in the crowd. Most cities and their police forces ensure that supporters of opposite sides an issue are separated during protests or rallies. Abortion rights on one side of the street, foes on the other.
Can't see that anything is wrong here and if anything, I am more conservative than you.

Donalbain said...

What the hell does that have to do with the "new America"? That happened in the "old America". The one where George W Bush is president.
The same America where this happened

or this

Sarah Palin said...

This Brownshirt crackdown on McCain supporters is clearly the result of a secret Obama security directive.

Thank God Right-thinking pro-America Americans are clearing the gun shops of serious automatic weaponry for when Obama's jackbooted thugs come to confiscate arms from law-abiding citizens.

And what good fortune that a proud American was able to capture this travesty on video and broadcast it on the innertoobs. I guess Obama's goons underestimated the power of video or they would have confiscated the camera. Fools!

Of course, the liberal media will ignore this watershed event. What do you expect?

Hube said...

I tend to agree with the first commenter. I think the guy might have been seriously injured had the police not intervened.

Darren said...

Heckler's vetoes. Lack of tolerance. Strong-arm tactics of the police. Likelihood of violence.

Yep, sounds like the left to me.

Donalbain said...

So, Darren, you honestly believe that if someone turned up to a Palin rally with an Obama shirt on, they would not have been asked to leave?

neko said...

Asked to leave? Maybe.

Arrested? No.

If I was the cop, I would have explained to this guy that, while I agree he has the right to free speech, I have to be responsible for the cops who would have to try to push through the crowd to save his @$$ when he gets mobbed. I would then tell him that I was going to have one of my men drive him over to his car (and maybe even escort him home.) I would NOT have cuffed him. It only incited the crowd and gave his buddy something to videotape.

I know that there are police officers who read this blog. Do any of you agree with me?

Donalbain said...

If you are asked to leave and you do not, then you are trespassing. If you are then asked by a police officer to leave and still refuse, you will be arrested.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh this is precious.

> So, Darren, you honestly believe that if someone turned up to a Palin rally with an Obama shirt on, they would not have been asked to leave?

Asked to leave? The man was on a public thoroughfare doing nothing more objectionable then wearing a t-shirt. If there was any threat to public order it was from the Obama supporters who were quite clearly excited, and pleased, at the spectacle of the man being hand-cuffed and arrested.

Is there much doubt that if the cops hadn't removed the man the Obama supporters would've demonstrated their commitment to tolerance and diversity by beating the man up restraint being one of those tedious characteristics with which conservatives are willing to saddle ourselves?

And the theoretical Obama supporter at a McCain rally? Safe as in his mother's arms. If anyone in the crowd had decided to make a political point with violence the cops wouldn't have had to protect the Obama supporter, others in the crowd would've restrained the criminally enthusiastic McCain supporter.

> If you are asked to leave and you do not, then you are trespassing. If you are then asked by a police officer to leave and still refuse, you will be arrested.

Is it possible to trespass on a public street? Do police extemporize law to suit their own convenience? No and yes which is why it's just easier, and safer, to arrest one guy who you know isn't interested in violence then it is to arrest members of a mob that feels fully justified in committing violence.

Donalbain said...

My word! It is to laugh!
Nobody at Palin rallies was shouting "Bomb Obama"? Some of the Palin rallies had the most disgusting hate filled crowds I have seen in politics for a long time.

And as for protests in public areas, the whole notion of "free speech areas", disgusting as they are, are pretty well established in the US and are nothing to do with the "new America"

Donalbain said...

Also, the comments on that video are hilarious!

Obama, the real antichrist!??!

allen (in Michigan) said...

Well, disgust is such a subjective measure.

So let's do some science!

Here's an experiment for you Donal.

Show up at an NRA get-together wearing a Million Moms (does the organization still exist?) t-shirt and then wear an NRA t-shirt to a Million Moms confab.

I suggest that order because I know you'll survive, even be treated civilly at, the NRA event whereas you're rather more likely to end up being assaulted by those Million Moms who are so opposed to violence.

There's something about the pretense of moral superiority that, apparently, encourages the throwing of stones.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I agree that the guy was trying to incite the crowd. However, on two separate occassions as a police officer I stood between a group of KKK members who were lawfully assembled and a group who wanted their blood. In order for the first amendment to have any meaning it must protect the most hateful of all speech. Otherwise, who gets to set the rules about what is offensive speech? We protected the KKK as they exercised their right to free speech. The only group that was hated by both sides was us. I think those officers are probably in for some problems because these guys were clearly not disorderly. As knuckleheaded as they were their shirt is protected speech according to the Supreme Court. I agree that the police could have advised them of the problems they were causing, but they could not compel them to leave. An exception to the speech rights are something called fighting words. Wearing a t-shirt that a crowd does not agree with is not fighting words. The right to free speech is nearly absolute. Schenck v. US, gives the exception, the famous "You can't yell fire in a crowded theater." These guys were stupid, but that's not against the law. They may have a false arrest suit. That would be ironic wouldn't it?