Friday, April 21, 2017

The Anti-Free Speech Movement

UC Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, has stabbed free speech in the back once again.

Last week it effectively canceled a long planned speech by David Horowitz.  Today it canceled a long planned speech by Ann Coulter scheduled for April 27.

As they did with Horowitz, UC officials, citing safety concerns, first tried to bureaucratically shrink the Coulter speech out of existence by informing Young Americans for Freedom, sponsors of the event, that Coulter could speak only in the afternoon when students were in classes; that only students could attend; and, in a Kafkaesque twist, that the location of the speech would be distant from the center of campus and not be announced until just before it occurred.

Coulter agreed to these conditions.  But she added two stipulations that called the bureaucrats’ bluff that this was about public safety rather than the suppression of the free speech of conservatives. She asked that the Chancellor not require police to stand down in the face of anticipated violence by thugs, as he has in the past; and she asked that the UC administration make it clear than any student trying violently to disrupt the speech would be expelled.

The University replied by cancelling Coulter’s speech outright.



Dean said...

Apparently. according to a news story this morning, Berkley officials didn't feel they were given enough advance notice to make sure every thing would be safe.

What they meant was they didn't feel it would be safe for students to hear conservative opinions. The little robots might start thinking for themselves, and who know what might happen then. Why, they might begin to question the official liberal line, to disagree with professors. And horror of horrors, the might vote Republican.

Can't have that now, can we?

Bird of Paradise said...

U.C. Berkeley is nothing but another liberal leftists run indoctrination center being sed to brainwash their students into being servants for Big Brother just another place that needs its public and private funding cut off by 100% the saving for the economy would be astronomical

Use the Name, Luke said...

Well said, Dean,

In addition, they clearly do not want to give up the ability of their most well indoctrinated students to respond "appropriately" (with violence) to conservative ideas presented via free speech.

Anonymous said...

It is time that the federal government withdrew funding from any institution that shuts down free speech along with removing funding to states who support said institutions. If security is an issue then they need to control the students who create violent situations by expelling them and refusing campus entry. Free speech is the most important aspect of any university education. Without free speech only robots graduate.

Paul Weber said...

UC Berkeley, the birth place of free speech, through their "enlightenment" were able to kill free speech there because it gave a voice to dissent.

Anonymous said...

Berkeley has now said they will allow Coulter to speak on a different day.

She and the College Republicans are rejecting that offer and have said they will sue.

Certainly the college has the right to place certain time, place and manner restrictions or limits on speech. However, those restrictions cannot be based on the content of the speech. Here, there is no doubt that the college has allowed other nationally known authors to speak and give talks. The college's stance on moving the speech is based on what Coulter says and the reactions of people, and not the general idea of restricting all speakers.

Secondly, the Supreme Court case of National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie reaffirmed the idea that the government and public institutions have the duty to protect speech - even speech that is unpopular. It is up to the school to make the appropriate arrangements to allow the speech to go on, and not allow the speech to be stopped or cancelled because of a heckler's veto.

Lastly, the college has said they have credible intelligence as to groups that will cause violence and disruption at the speech. So instead of dealing with that intelligence and making sure the violence doesn't happen, the school said "you can't speak" and then changed it to "you can speak here."

The school and government should protect speaker and speech, and not allow others to destroy people's rights.

Anonymous said...

The wrong assumption is that U.C. Berkeley was the start of the Free Speech movement. That started much earlier, it merely had a "refresh: at Berkeley but they've put that well behind them now.

Oddly enough, those who were a part of it then are the people who are against free speech now, further evidence of leftism rotting brains.