- Politics and Social Issues
Free Speech Isn't Absolute
Political demonstations shouldn't trample others' rights.
Your rights should end when they infringe on others’ rights. A couple of years ago, a protest crowd gathered on Wilshire Boulevard in West LA. They blocked the street so traffic couldn’t get through. Thousands of people were inconvenienced. Maybe, even emergency vehicles couldn’t get by.
We are so very lucky to live in a free society where we can express our views. I do it all the time - by writing letters to newspapers. You can write your congressmen, gather petitions, go on talk radio, stand on the sidewalk and hand out flyers - if you don’t block someone’s way.
And, if you really want to make an impact, you want to gather a crowd of many thousands so the media will take note, do it in a place where you won’t bother others. Rent a stadium - or find a sympathetic stadium or theater owner to let you use their place for free. Find an open field that the owner agrees you can use. Use your imagination. Think. There must be many places where you can gather a crowd without disturbing others.
As has been written and repeated many times, free speech is not absolute. You can’t holler “Fire” in a crowded auditorium when there is no fire. You can’t slander people. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing - don’t abuse it.
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