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Of George W. Bush and "free speech zones"

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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 09:07 AM
Original message
Of George W. Bush and "free speech zones"
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 09:10 AM by RatTerrier
The so-called 'liberal media' (yeah, right!) is making a pretty big fuss about the 'free speech zone' set up outside Fleet Center in Boston.



They seem to be acting like this is some sort of new concept, devised by those sneaky Democrats.

In fact, today's Drudge
headline, splashed on Page 1, is "PROTESTERS TO BE CAGED AT DEM CONVENTION".

But, if they actually did their job instead of go through the motions, they'd realize that the concept isn't all that new. In fact, it is heavily used now. By our Republican Predident:

http://www.amconmag.com/12_15_03/feature.html

What the heck, let's start this whole thing with a conservative news source:

December 15, 2003 issue
Copyright 2003 The American Conservative

Free-Speech Zone
The administration quarantines dissent.

By James Bovard

On Dec. 6, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft informed the Senate Judiciary Committee, To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and give ammunition to Americas enemies. Some commentators feared that Ashcrofts statement, which was vetted beforehand by top lawyers at the Justice Department, signaled that this White House would take a far more hostile view towards opponents than did recent presidents. And indeed, some Bush administration policies indicate that Ashcrofts comment was not a mere throwaway line.

When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up free speech zones or protest zones where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.


You can read more about 'free-speech zones' here as well:

What Is A Free Speech Zone?
http://www.thefreespeechzone.net/html/whatis_fsp.html

Quarantining dissent
How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...

Bush Makes Protesters 'Disappear'
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1129-03.htm

Free Speech Zones In the USA?
http://baltimorechronicle.com/052704FreeSpeechZones.sht...

Protestor subpoenas Ashcroft, Bush adviser
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/11/07/protester.arrested.ap /

Free Speech Zone victims fight back
http://www.unknownnews.net/040716wof2.html

Real Conservatives Honor Free Speech
But Bush Administration stifles dissent

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/weekly_2003/conservatives_h...

John Ashcroft's intolerance (contd): In defence of elderly hippies
The Justice Department doesn't seem to know when to stop

http://www.economist.com/World/na/displayStory.cfm?stor...


You can search more via Google:

"Free Speech Zone" 20,700 hits

"Free Speech Zone" + "Bush" 13,200 hits

So, the next time you hear some conservative media hothead whine about the DNC stifling free speech, tell 'em the Republicans came up with the idea.






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linazelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. The RepubliCons are at it again...
They are true hypocrites--Bush has been using free-speech zones for three years and the media's ignored them. They are set up by BushCo at the convention and it's a totally new concept. Unreal.
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Some times people are slow on the uptake in this country but
better late than never. We want the Media to be in an uproar over this. At least I do. I think the whole idea of caging Americans up into so called "Free Speech Zones" is despicable and fascist. The more Media attention the better. America should be up in arms over such an idea.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I wonder if ther will be any mention of this at the RNC Convention
Likely, not.

Seems Republicans can get away with blatant hypocrisy in this day and age.

Is there any journalist out there in this day and age that has at least a little dignity?
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder what other evil GOP tricks we can steal as our own
People wonder why Nader and Cobb are running. I wish that www.theonion.com spoofed the Green convention, complete with a "pen" for the protesters.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. "We" didn't steal this...
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 11:57 AM by RoyGBiv
Certainly it would behoove Kerry, et al to denounce this practice. However, the protest zones have been organized by the Secret Service under the direction of the Bush administration. No one with the DNC has any direct control over it.

As I attempted to discuss yesterday in my thread that died on the vine, Shrub and company have a stake in making sure these zones, as they implement them, are used at all sorts of events, not just those attended by the President or his political allies. There is a case currently making its way through the court system wherein a protester is contending the protest zone policy is being applied inequitably against those protesting Bush administration policies. Part of the government's case rests on whether the SS applies the same policy, regardless of who is doing the protesting or who the targets of the protests are.

Note that I am not condoning this. Rather, I am suggesting we take a look at the larger picture here and determine exactly what is at stake, who is behind everything, and why.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Outside the Fleet Center
Is it directly outside, in view of it?

I ask because of this thread I started yesterday that promptly died:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Suspicious Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I can tell you this -
I watched a Bl(a)ck Tea Society press conference on C-Span yesterday, and according to the members of that particular group, the cages are out of sight and out of earshot.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Thanks...

That, unfortunately, fits with my theory.

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kohodog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. "Free Speech Zones" ...More Orwellian Newspeak
We are falling into a very Orwellian World if we let the Right redefine our language. Free Speech zones are pens for keeping dissent out of sight of the polliticians and press. They have nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with repression. We shouldn't fall into the trap of using their phrases. If we do, they have won another battle by franing the discussion in their language on their terms.
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