Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’

by Liberty Chick & Adam Baldwin  ~  at BigJournalism.com

Police warn UC Davis protesters

UC Davis protesters encircle police to prevent them from leaving. Police issued multiple warnings to those in the path to clear access. Just prior to the pepper spray, Officer Pike gives a final warning to each protester, "Do you understand that if you stay here when the police squad comes, you will be subject to the use of force?

On Monday, students, faculty and supporters at the University of California, Davis, attempted a mass general strike to protest tuition hikes and to demand the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after police pepper-sprayed eleven protesters who blocked a public access way at an #OccupyUCDavis event on November 18th. Students maintain it was Chancellor Katehi who requested the police remove the Occupy encampment and clear access to the facility.  The incident sparked a firestorm of media all across the world and has become a viral phenomenon, and now even an Internet meme.

We stand behind those calling for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation.  But not for the reasons they might think.

The events of UC Davis and the way in which the pepper-spray was handled has set a number of dangerous precedents.  In the setting of academia, the rights of the majority of students are being trampled on to appease the tyranny of a minority.  Further, the very system of law and order and its public servants instituted to protect the rights of the public at large have been undermined by incompetent leaders, unable to withstand the growing pressure of a noisy minority and the corrupt media that supports it.  Most importantly, propaganda has established a foothold that is now stronger than ever, and far more dangerous than the short-term effects of pepper spray.

Over the last week, we have seen the media pick up the UC Davis story and run with it, always highlighting the same twenty seconds of one Officer Pike, methodically pepper-spraying eleven “peaceful protesters,” as onlookers gasp and scream in horror and dismay.  The public was almost undivided in its immediate condemnation of the act.

But just as Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Perhaps in this case, it’s not so much a lie, but a lot of omissions.

Continue…

by Adam Baldwin and Liberty Chick

UPDATE: UW-Stout has retreated.  “…Therefore, UW-Stout has reconsidered its decision to remove the two posters from outside the professor’s office, meaning he can display them if he so chooses.”  Popehat has the analysis.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of America’s most sacred freedoms and our public universities often among its staunchest defenders.  But at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS), it seems this sacred freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

UWS theater professor Dr. James Miller is relatively new to the short-lived, now cult hit TV series “Firefly.”  Some of his students are loyal fans and asked Dr. Miller to check it out for himself. He liked it enough to hang a Firefly poster on his office door. Given its remote location in the theater wing, where mostly only theater students would see it, who would have expected the poster to cause such a firestorm?

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly and a line from an episode: “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.” On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter notified Miller that she had removed the poster because it “refer[s] to killing.” After Miller replied, “respect my first amendment rights,” Walter wrote that “the poster can be interpreted as a threat.” Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: “If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.”

In response to Walter’s censorship, Miller placed a new poster on his office door on the 16th. The poster read “Warning: Fascism” and mocked, “Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.”

Walter escalated the absurdity. On September 20, she wrote that this poster, too, had been censored because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death” and was expected to “be constituted as a threat.” She added that UWS’s “threat assessment team,” in consultation with the university general counsel’s office, had made the decision. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes then scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team.”

Read the rest here at BigHollywood

[original post 11/5/2010]

Last week, Drummond Pike took his FOX News fight to a whole new level, this time painting all of the right with a scarlet letter. Coincidentally, Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald had also published a similar piece in much the same vein, only a week prior.

In his opinion contribution piece to Politico titled “Why Does the Right Hate Soros?”, the founder and CEO of Tides Foundation pondered aloud the imaginary reasons he’s fabricated in his mind for the animosity toward the Hungarian born billionaire.

His conclusion? Because we hate immigrants.

soros-george-415x275

This is the typical left. When you don’t get the response you want, inject a new element of manufactured hate into the mix – when you can’t make it about race, make it about immigration. Drummond Pike even decided to step up the rhetoric, implying that George Soros is in danger because of right-wing media outlets and bloggers. But the sad truth behind this piece, behind all of these public letters, boycotts and petitions is that they are all coordinated, and they are all aimed at turning the public opinion against those who do not share the ideals of the leftist agenda.

Some highlights from Pike’s opinion piece:

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[original post 2/14/2010]

It’s Not About the Recall, It’s About the First Amendment

Review of case briefs, case law research, and consultation with a number of attorneys, judges, and legal professionals contributed to the writing of this article.

menendez

Tea Party activists might be smarter than some would like to think.  And depending upon the outcome of a court case later this month, they might also play a role in setting legal precedent.

When New Jersey state election officials denied their submission to initiate a recall effort against U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, calling it unconstitutional, a grass-roots recall committee’s constitutional instincts kicked into full gear.  Attorneys for the committee, themselves Tea Party activists, filed to appeal the agency decision and began writing their supporting brief.

Meanwhile, seemingly everyone was now weighing in as a legal expert.  Some insist the decision is simple:  NJ has no constitutional authority to recall a US Senator; despite what its state constitution says, that authority is reserved for the federal government alone.  For weeks now, legal scholars, political pundits and the media have been chattering online about the case, now before the Appellate Division in the Superior Court of New Jersey, some treating it more like a sideshow and an outlet to take pot shots at Tea Partiers than a legitimate court proceeding with real constitutional significance.

But Dan Silberstein and Richard Luzzi, attorneys for the Committee to Recall Robert Menendez, a committee initiated by members of the Sussex County Tea Party, see this case in an entirely different light.  They insist this case is not about whether a recall order from the state is judicially enforceable against a United States Senator, rather, it’s all about protecting the first amendment right to free speech. And they are taking the matter very seriously.  Based upon recent developments in the case, apparently so are several others, including some high profile legal experts and the courts.

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