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First Ammendment Zones: Is it time for a serious public challenge?

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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:12 PM
Original message
First Ammendment Zones: Is it time for a serious public challenge?
My son--an ardent democrat and a journalist who works in Taiwan--is home for a visit, and was outraged when I told him about First Ammendment Zones. I mentioned this to my wife, and she too knew nothing about them.

If these two very well-informed people don't know about them, the public must be completely unaware of this radical, fascist suppression of American political freedoms.

It seems to me it is time for some group to risk arrest and defy the rules in a very open, public, pre-announced way that will invite press coverage and permit the issue to become public.

Do we have any such courageous people? I will personally contribute money to the cause of any group who will undertake this mission. Seems to me unemployed and veterans would be very highly qualified, provided of course they don't have families who are dependent upon them.

First Ammendment Zones are an outrage. My son said it is exactly like what they do in China. We must not let these damn fascist neocons get away with this. It's important we beat this insult down now before the campaign, so we can all harrass his heinous freely and vigorously.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Might Be A Good Point To Stress For 2004
if Dimbo is so afraid of the American people and his press conferences are so rigged to make him look good, then it might be a good idea to publish/broadcast/stress in the upcoming presidential election.

The more people see Dimbo as a scripted piece of crap, the better off we will be.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. one problem with that
-they existed before the shrub stole office. They were set up at both the Republican and Democratic conventions, the presidential debates and used on numerous other occasions.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. actually
it occurs to me that the presidential debates were held at colleges which is not public property, which is different of course. In Boston there may have been FAZs outside the campus but I'm not sure.
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. 1st amendment
Merlin, it is only going to get worse. You have a good idea and I wish I had the nerve to do it. I would love to see headlines that say JOHN ASSCROFT JAILS ARTHRITIC GREAT-GRANDMOTHER FOR PROTESTING OUTSIDE ZONE. And I am sure he would do it.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'll tell you what, I'll do it if you will. Anyone else care to join us?
Can anybody organize such a thing?

Do you think we can get Move On interested?
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. protest
I think it should be in DC when Asscroft is in town. When is the next protest in DC? I am in Tennessee--someone will have to supply transportation to wherever. I will be so glad when we no longer have a loonie as AG.
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Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. Whatever makes you think the media would report it?
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here is an interesting article and some ideas
http://citizensnotspectators.org/archives/000022.html

The guy in the above article had an interesting experience with the 'First Amendment Zones' and who they apply to.

I think in some cases it may be interesting to 'dress up' as a freeper or Republican-bring signs that support the pResident or whomever. The signs should have two layers-one with the typical freeper bullshit, and underneath with the real message.

Difficult to pull off, but it shows that we will not be denied our free speech.
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Melsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Good Idea RationalRose
I have been thinking along those lines myself.

The thing that bothers me the most, is that supporters and protesters are treated diferently. If there is a "free speech zone" everyone should be inside it, not just those who disagree.

Free speech zone, how Orwellian. More like the Shut Up and Disapear zone!
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. Reasonable restrictions on the 1st ammendment
are just as heinous as "reasonable restrictions" on the 2nd ammendment.

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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Forcing protesters out of the motorcade path or event area is unreasonable
It's a suppression of free speech and freedom of assembly. It's absurd and unwaranted. It's an outrage. It must not be allowed to stand!
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Exactly!
Just as restrictions on firearms ownership is absurb, unwanted and an outrage.

Remember, if you can stomp on one part of the constitution, you can stomp on any part of it.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. Exactly. UNREASONABLE restrictions on firearms are unconstitutional.
However, don't start talking to me about how the NRA folks need AK-47s and M-15s and assault rifles so they can go kill deer. Sorry. I don't buy that as reasonable.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Just a matter of interpetation then huh?
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 11:18 PM by Fescue4u
You say banning ak-47's are a reasonable restriction.

"they" say 1st ammendment zones are a reasonable restriction.

That slippery slope is a bitch isnt it?


And btw, I have an ak-47 and I have no intention of shooting deer.

The 2nd ammendment is NOT about shooting deer, and the 1st is not about writing books.




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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. Yeah, and this thread is not about the 2nd ammendment.
So drop dead.
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TAH6988 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Way to end the debate
with class...
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. I thought they were a good idea with Clinton
When Clinton came to town about once a year for fund raising, he would visit with a prominent attorney for fund raising activitys.

I remember that the Secret service used to setup zones for the anti-clinton protests that were generally out of the prime areas.

I thought it was pretty funny then that the freepers got shut down. Now that its happening to us..its not quite so funny :(

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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. What town? Any links to proof of this allegation?
I never heard about it before his shrubness got in.
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Cincinnati, visits to Stan Chesley in Indian Hill.

I really didnt mean it as an allegation. Clinton is a good guy, but that doesnt mean that the SS doesnt get out of hand sometimes (the SS that protects Bush now btw)
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Jack The Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. They were originally made to protect abortion providers and their patients
I read somewhere that the law that allows these "first amendment" zones was set up under Clinton to keep the abortion protesters from harassing patients entering clinics.

Just goes to show you how a law passed during one administration can bite you in the next.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. Actually, what it REALLY shows is that nobody should
try to subvert Constitutional guarantees. The subversion you like today because it represses the creeps, you'll hate tomorrow when it's used to repress you.

Defend the Bill Of Rights. Even when it's being exploited by the bad guys.
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. That never happened in Mass during the Clinton Years
There was always about a half dozen freepers whenever Clinton or any other prominent Dems appeared in the Boston area. I went to a Gore fundraiser in 2000 and the same six people were outside the hotel with their stupid signs.

The same rule doesn't apply to our side, unfortunately.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. Peaceful Civil Disobedience is the Only Way
When people stop fearing what crossing the line will do to their arrest records, Free Speech Zones will go away.
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
32. I agree. We need to just cross them en masse
talk about your doublespeak "First Amendment Zones". Fuck that.

We should show them what a first amendment zone TRULY is.

At the rethug convention in NYC I want to shut the place DOWN. Shut the city DOWN. Not let anybody in, not let anybody out, a million people sitting on their ASSES surrounding the place. peacefully. Let them try to stop that.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. The 1st Amendment Zone is From Sea to Shining Sea. It's the USA.
Hello Merlin,

Yes, it is an outrage and this would make an excellent issue for the Democrats. Americans are a cantankerous people and even rightwingers are uncomfortable with sort of statism.

Tell 'em that the 1st Amendment Zone is from Sea to Shining Sea and that the Constitution is not limited to arbitrary time/space fabric that the White House chooses.

If your son lives and works in overseas, he must be shocked to see what is going on here in the U.S.

Ask your son if he has ever been to the Taroko Gourge. It's a smaller Grand Canyon and has the extra feature of being carved out of marble of the eons. It is breathtaking.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. I'll check.
He's travelled all over the country, usually by train.

(I often will call him on my cell while I'm driving from PA to DE, and he will answer while he is on a train traveling from Tapei to southern Taiwan. It is incredible to me that we have that kind of technology. 15 years ago, that would have been a dream!)
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. I didn't know about them specifically because...
They don't seem like anything new to me. Protestors are often get screwed over because of "security" reasons. This absolutely should be an issue in the next election.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. This is illegal because it denies free speech to dissenters...
...and free access to Bush* supporters. In other words...the law is applied unequally and denies freedom of speech to those redressing grievances against government policies.

- This isn't a security issue. It's all about supressing dissent.
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Pepperbelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
18. it is PAST time to challenge this ...
Just because the boy-king doesn't like to see people who disagree with him is no reason to restrict anyone's rights.
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IkeWarnedUs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Remember Brett Bursey?
He was arested for refusing to leave a restricted area at Columbia Metropolitan Airport during President Bush's visit on October 24, 2002.

Bursey's lawyers are arguing that there was no designated free-speech zone at the airport and police kept moving Bursey and other protesters farther away so the president wouldn't see them. In June the trial was delayed because the Defense argued the Prosecutors must prove that Bursey planned to engage in violence, block access to a building or grounds, or "disrupt the orderly conduct of government business". Bursey's charge of "entering a restricted area around the president of the United States", doesn't meet any of the criteria. They are asking the charges be dropped.

In 1969 Bursey was charged with trespassing at the airport during a rally by President Nixon. The S.C. Supreme Court overturned that conviction on grounds that citizens cannot trespass on public property.

Bursey was convicted of defacing a military draft office in Columbia in 1971 during the Vietnam War and served nearly two years in state prison.

If the charges are not dropped the trial will continue November 12.

In the mean time, the judge gave the U.S. Attorney until September 12 to turn over all security memos, e-mails and other documents relating to President Bush's visit in October 2002 so he (the judge) could review them and decide what Bursey can use in his defense. I can't find anything about whether or not they made the deadline.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Not a good test situation, imo.
We need a group of people willing to go to jail over this.
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IkeWarnedUs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Why do you say it isn't a good test case?
Bursey is willing and (aparently) able to go all the way with this. As much as I want to see the First Amendment zones taken down, it would be a disaster to my family right now if I got arrested and were to try to take the case to the Supreme Court. I imagine that is the case with most DU'ers.

I saw Martin Sheen on a late night talk show not long ago - don't remember which one. He said he is on probation for one of his many arrests for protesting. Sheen said he has to avoid getting arrested now or he will have to go to jail. He was asked if people "decide" they will be arrested when they protest. He said not everyone has a lifestyle and/or resources that can withstand being arrested and that's why he made a point of being on the front lines - because he did. Now, for the duration of his probation, he will be one of those that does what the police say, even if he knows his rights are being violated.

Bursey is one of those brave patriots in a position to take on the fight. God bless him.
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Merlin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Only because he is not a sympathetic figure for the media.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 09:46 PM by Merlin
He sounds like a terrific human being, and I salute him for his sacrifices. His protests are very valuable in terms of pushing the legal issue. However, imo, he would be rung up as a repeated protester--a radical--in the media.

We need to do this the same way it was done back in the civil rights era and the Vietnam protest era. Dozens of people, maybe even hundreds, need to do it at one time, en masse. They need to be willing to go to jail. If they are regular citizens from all walks of life, and especially if some remain in jail, they will gain public attention and empathy. That will force the media to focus on this ridiculous practice, and make the public aware of it. It can only help our cause.

It's too bad Sheen isn't willing to go to jail for a few days over this issue. Can you imagine the hoopla!
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Julien Sorel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
23. America is a First Amendment Zone. Period.
That should be an absolute, with the tiniest handful of exceptions, and protecting the simian-in-chief's faux-alpha male ego isn't one of them. That it isn't is reason in and of itself to kick the simian wonder out.
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TheDonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
28. Shippensburg Univ. being sued over free-speech zone
I'm not sure if anyone has heard of the lawsuit against my school, Ship Univ. It is over the "free speech zone" and the schools "diversity pledge". Yes I'd love to say that people should have the right to speak anywhere, in reality they don't.

The free speech zones were created because Amish preachers would come to the university with bullhorns and yell at the students going into dorms and classrooms about how they were going to hell, lived evil lives, and were dirty. So now these people are allowed to come but must stay in a certain restricted area so they can't bother people who want nothing to do but go to class.

As for the diversity pledge the school stresses "tolerance" and anyone who says racially divisive/hurtful remarks could be punished. But a far-right conservative group called fire.org is sueing the school because 2 republican students felt they could not express their views on black people honestly.
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