Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech: To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor?

Excerpted from University of Toronto debate “Freedom of Speech includes the Freedom to Hate” held November 2006.

“To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful or who is the harmful speaker? Or determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor?”

Orrin Hatch Introduces Bill to Protect Free Speech on College Campuses

Feb 07 2018

Washington, D.C.— Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior Republican in the United States Senate, introduced the FREE Act, legislation to protect free speech on college campuses.

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

“My proposal would require public colleges and universities to provide clear guidance on their efforts to protect free speech and the free exchange of all ideas,” Hatch said. “Students on campus should know that any regulation of speech remains content-neutral, apolitical, and narrowly tailored. They should be able to trust that their campuses will foster free speech, not stifle it.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/371020657/Free-Right-to-Expression-in-Education-Act-sponsored-by-Republican-Sen-Orrin-Hatch#from_embed

He wrote more about this critical issue and how his legislation would help bolster free speech in an op-ed this afternoon in National Review:

 Protecting Free Speech Where It Matters Most, on the College Campus

By Senator Orrin G. Hatch

 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456164/free-speech-college-campuses-legislation-ensure-it

FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a group from campus due to its political viewpoint, and even investigated a professor for a satirical tweet — eventually driving him to resign.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has identified America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech, published today with detailed descriptions on FIRE’s website.
This year’s list includes the following institutions, in no particular order:
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Los Angeles Community College District (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Fordham University (New York, N.Y.)
  • Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
  • Albion College (Albion, Mich.)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
  • Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas)
The institutions on FIRE’s annual list of worst colleges include one university that threatened the funding and editorial process of its independent student newspaper, another that erected fences around campus to keep peaceful student demonstrators out of sight of donors, and yet another that put a student through a months-long investigation and a four-hour hearing for a joke. (That student is still waiting to learn his fate!)
“College administrators, and sometimes even students, are going to greater and greater lengths to justify muzzling expression on campus,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “This type of censorship makes for a sterile environment where lively debate and discussion can’t thrive. The public deserves to know which colleges will defend free expression — and which ones will go to seemingly any length to silence it.”
For the first time, FIRE also awarded a Lifetime Censorship Award to one university that threatens the free speech rights of its students and faculty so often that it deserves individual infamy: DePaul University.
DePaul earned the 2018 Lifetime Censorship Award in recognition of its decade-long rap sheet of suppressing speech at every turn. From denying recognition to a student organization criticizing marijuana laws, to forcing the DePaul Socialists, Young Americans for Freedom, and College Republicans to pay for security in order to host speakers at their meetings and events, to forbidding a group from using the slogan “Gay Lives Matter,” DePaul has staked out a leadership position in stifling campus expression.
FIRE’s 2018 list includes both public and private institutions. Public colleges and universities are bound by the First Amendment. Private colleges on this list are not required by the Constitution to respect student and faculty speech rights, but explicitly promise to do so.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Ben Shapiro Event at University of Minnesota Facing Hurdles According to YAF

Feb 26, 2018

Ben Shapiro will speak at a free event on campus. More details will be posted as the event approaches.

This event will be live streamed at 7:00 pm CT / 8:00 ET. Please click here to register to watch.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

YAF, sponsor of the event, now claims the university is denying venue requests to isolate the conservative event.

The Department of Justice recently filed a “Statement of Interest” in attempts to hinder YAF events, in particular with regard to USC Berkeley’s handling of YAF’s Ben Shapiro event last September.

In filing the Statement of Interest, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand provided the following statement:

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is an ideologically conservative youth activism organization that was founded in 1960 as a coalition between traditional conservatives and libertarians on American college campuses. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation.

Neo-Nazis Driven Off CSU Campus After Turning Point USA Event

Courtesy Unicorn Riot:

Fort Collins, CO – On Friday night, Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a right-wing xenophobic student group, held a “Smashing Socialism” speaking event featuring its founder Charlie Kirk, at Colorado State University (CSU). A call to protest the event came from the Northern Colorado Antifa Collective, who has stated they oppose TPUSA because the organization provides “sanctuary” to “dangerously prejudicial sentiments.” The evening ended with police dispersal orders as an amassed crowd of antifascists confronted a small group of neo-Nazis who arrived at the end of the event, driving them off campus.

In the days leading up to TPUSA leader Charlie Kirk’s speech on Friday night, fliers from the national socialist Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) were found on campus. Various news outlets began to report that TWP members were planning to attend the February 2 event. While CSU president Tony Frank condemned the TWP fliers, TPUSA chapter president Isabel Brown, in statements to the Coloradoan, did not. Brown later backpedaled on her original support by stating that TPUSA condemns white nationalism; TPUSA head Charlie Kirk made statements to this effect during his Friday night speech as well.

The German anti-racist group HateXchange created a fundraising campaign to “adopt a Nazi enabler” and donate on behalf of the Traditionalist Worker Party members planning to attend. Donations from the campaign go to CSU Student Diversity Programs and to Life After Hate, an organization that works to help people leave hate groups.

Hours before the event, local police and EMTs were seen staging with vehicles and shields.

Full story and more photos from Unicorn Riot may be found here:

Neo-Nazis Driven Off CSU Campus After Turning Point USA Event

This tweet from speaker Charlie Kirk after the event denounced violence on both sides:

Jordan Peterson & Ben Shapiro: The Frontline of Free Speech

View this episode of The Rubin Report, recorded live on Jan. 31, 2018:

Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro join Dave Rubin for a live discussion about postmodernism, Trump, conservatism, free speech, and rules for life.

Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s new book is currently a bestseller. What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Ben Shapiro entered UCLA at the age of sixteen and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated Harvard Law School cum laude. At seventeen, Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate, becoming the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. He has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows and is the author of the national bestsellers Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, and Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House. Shapiro is married and lives in Los Angeles.

Justice Department Files Statement of Interest in California College Free Speech Case

Photo: Ben Shapiro was one of the high-profile speakers hosted by YAF this year at UC Berkeley. The event prompted counter-protests, a high level of security, and offers of counseling for students who did not feel safe.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in Young America’s Foundation and Berkeley College Republicans v. Janet Napolitano. The plaintiffs, Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) and Young America’s Foundation (YAF), allege that the University of California, Berkeley, enforced a double standard when applied to free speech. BCR alleges that UC Berkeley applied a more rigorous and highly discretionary set of rules to their organization compared to other campus groups, especially with respect to “high-profile” campus speakers.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit as a result of excessive hurdles BCR faced in bringing speakers of their choice onto campus. They allege that UC Berkeley’s High Profile Speaker Policy and Major Events Policy violated their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Berkeley’s “High-Profile Speaker Policy” granted administrators unfettered discretion to decide which speakers are subject to arduous curfews, prohibitive security costs, or undesirable venues. In one instance, administrators—who had full discretion to determine who constituted a “high-profile speaker”—established a 3:00 pm “curfew” that conflicted with class times.

While the plaintiffs attempted to book speakers under the restrictions of the “High-Profile Speaker Policy,” a former president of Mexico and a former White House adviser were hosted at the University, but University administrators did not apply the High-Profile Speakers Policy to those events.

Berkeley counseling for impact speakers “have on individuals’ sense of safety & belonging”

In filing the Statement of Interest, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand provided the following statement:

“This Department of Justice will not stand by idly while public universities violate students’ constitutional rights.”

In addition to the statement, Associate Attorney General today penned an op-ed(link is external) on the issue of campus free speech.

This is the third Statement of Interest filed by the Department of Justice in a First Amendment case under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The first was filed on September 26, 2017 in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, and the second was filed on October 24, 2017 in Shaw v. Burke.

Attorney General Sessions reestablished the Department’s commitment to protecting First Amendment rights—especially campus free speech– in a speech at Georgetown Law School in 2017.

Ben Shapiro to Speak at UConn; Intellectual Counter-event to Occur; UConn Bars Public Attendance

UPDATE 1.23.18 UConn has now announced only students can attend. This below article explains that this is not customary–a recent event featuring Anita Hill was free and open to the public:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/01/uconn-bars-public-from-ben-shapiro-speech/


How to watch live:

LIVE TONIGHT: Ben Shapiro Kicks Off 2018 Campus Tour

Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak at UConn this week, hosted by UConn College Republics.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

Come listen to Ben Shapiro lecture about contemporary political issues and then answer questions from the crowd. Ben Shapiro is the voice of the young american conservative movement, this is will be a night of intellectual diversity, that the University of Connecticut has ever seen.

For a refresher, Ben at Berkeley and Ben at University of Utah, Salt Lake City sparked enormously emotional reactions, even accusations of fascism and hate.

Ben Shapiro at Universities: Why Are Students Driven to Seek Counseling?

——————

In a departure from other universities who have loudly protested Ben Shapiro, sometimes requiring a large and expensive security presence,  an “intellectual alternative”  event will be held by UConn College Democrats. Titled “Ben Shapiro is Not as Insightful as He Thinks He Is,” the event recognizes the value of free speech and a free exchange of ideas.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

The UConn College Democrats are pleased to host Nathan Robinson this Wednesday, January 24th at 7:00 in the Dodd Center. His talk will be named, “Ben Shapiro Is Not As Insightful As he Thinks He Is.” The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Nathan Robinson is the editor in chief of Current Affairs, a Yale Law graduate, current Ph.D. student at Harvard, a prolific author and a public defender in New Orleans. He has written extensively on conservative thought and Ben Shapiro’s arguments throughout his career.

The UConn College Democrats are dedicated to free speech and scholarship on campus. Nathan will offer an intellectual alternative to Ben Shapiro. He will dissect the arguments used by campus conservatives and demonstrate that behind the big names of people like Ben Shapiro, there is little of substance to their arguments. We want to strike a balance between the desire for a free exchange of ideas and the desire for the ideas presented to be factually accurate, respectful in their presentation, and grounded in public policy and politics, not baiting people into the culture war. This event will be happening at the same time as Ben Shapiro’s talk, as we hope that this will be a better space for true discussion of the tough topics we face here at UConn and as a nation. We seek for this to be an event that confronts these tough topics while taking a stand against Shapiro and the UConn College Republicans’ attempts to divide our campus rather than unite us.

FREE tickets can be acquired the day of the event from 1-6pm at the Student Union ticket booth. A valid UConn ID is required. Please note that there will be bag restrictions for the talk and that security will be present to ensure an orderly event. We are excited to host Nathan and this campus for a wonderful night of discussion.


Kudos to UConn!

 

Films, newspapers, magazines and intranets and other media spread decadent ideologies, cultural poisoning

Photo courtesy KCNA.

North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun Calls for Foiling Ideological and Cultural Poisoning by Imperialism

Date: 20/01/2018 | Source: KCNA.kp (En) | Read original version at source

Pyongyang, January 20 (KCNA) — For all the nations aspiring to independence and opposing imperialism to combat the poisoning of decadent ideologies and culture of every description precisely means a fierce struggle to defend their sovereignty and dignity, says Rodong Sinmun in an article Saturday.

The article goes on:

The imperialists regard the reactionary ideological and cultural poisoning as the most effective way for attaining their aggression and predatory aims with ease.

The degenerate reactionary ideology and the American outlook on value, which were employed as a guide to aggression, play the main role in aggression at present.

The imperialists consider the rising generation as the main target of their corrupt ideological and cultural poisoning.

Through films, newspapers, magazines and intranets and other media which the young people enjoy very much, the imperialists make them corrupt and degenerate and spread illusions about imperialism.

Those young people infected with luxury and enjoyment are reduced to renegades of their countries and stooges of imperialism unwittingly.

North Korean Defector: Return DPRK to State Sponsored Terrorism List

Some countries witnessed regime changes and government falls and the young people took the lead in causing such abnormal situations. That is because they were infected with the imperialist ideological and cultural poisoning.

The struggle in the ideological and cultural field is a war without gunfire. And a wrong struggle results in the worse consequences than the defeat in war.

The bourgeois ideological and cultural poisoning is more dangerous than a formidable enemy coming in attack with guns.

Any hesitation and concession to the ideological confrontation would give way to the bourgeois ideological and cultural poisoning and then it would make mess of the destiny of a nation and country.

The Amazing Kims: Mythology and the Cult of Personality in North Korea

FIRE files lawsuit on behalf of Illinois student detained by police for ‘Shut Down Capitalism’ flyers

Photo: Student Ivette Salazar was detained by campus police for passing out flyers critical of capitalism.

By  January 11, 2018

  • A campus police officer told student Ivette Salazar she has freedom of speech only if Joliet Junior College approves it.

CHICAGO, Jan. 11, 2018 — Joliet Junior College student Ivette Salazar only wanted to do what Americans do every day: exercise her First Amendment right to respond to an opposing viewpoint. For that, campus police detained her, confiscated her political flyers, and told her she has freedom of speech only if JJC gives its approval.

That’s not how the First Amendment works, and that’s why Salazar filed a lawsuit today against JJC. The lawsuit is the latest for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Million Voices Campaign, which aims to free the voices of one million students by striking down unconstitutional speech codes nationwide.

On Nov. 28, after seeing members of a conservative student group distributing anti-socialism materials on campus, Salazar decided to provide an alternate viewpoint by distributing flyers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation that read “Shut Down Capitalism.” After being reported by campus staff, she was detained by JJC police for approximately 40 minutes, interrogated at the campus police station, and told she could not distribute her flyers because of the “political climate of the country.”

When Salazar asked the officers detaining her about her free speech rights, she said one JJC police officer told her, “If you want to go ahead and post your flyers and burn your crosses, you have to get it approved” by the school. Her flyers were confiscated to ensure that she did not distribute them on campus.
“Debating the merits of economic and governmental systems is core political speech,” said FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon. “Campus police got it backward: The current ‘political climate’ is a reason for more speech, not censorship. If tense political times justified restricting political speech, the First Amendment would be pointless.”
FIRE wrote to JJC President Judy Mitchell on Dec. 4 to demand that the college comply with its legal obligations as a public institution bound by the First Amendment. FIRE did not receive a response to its letter.
“I should be able to express my political beliefs on campus without being detained,” said Salazar. “JCC didn’t just threaten my freedom of speech, but the freedom of speech of every student on that campus. If we can’t have political discussions on a college campus, then where can we have them?”
As part of her lawsuit, Salazar challenges the constitutionality of JJC’s “Free Speech Area” policy. The policy restricts expressive activity to one small, indoor area of campus, requires students to request use of the area five business days in advance, requires students to disclose the purpose of their speech, allows for only two people to use the area at a time, and requires students to remain behind a table. If a student wants to distribute literature while in the area, he or she also has to get the materials approved by administrators ahead of time.
Salazar’s lawsuit also alleges that JJC violated her Fourth Amendment rights by unlawfully detaining her.
Today’s lawsuit was filed in partnership with FIRE Legal Network member and former president of the First Amendment Lawyers Association Wayne Giampietro of Poltrock & Giampietro in Chicago. Giampietro serves as co-counsel with FIRE in the case.
“A public college should be teaching its students the existence and value of the freedoms protected by our federal and state constitutions, not violating those freedoms,” said Giampietro. “The First Amendment protects our most cherished right to speak freely on political matters. It is deplorable that public school employees, paid with our tax money, would detain, interrogate, and seize political materials from a student who is attempting to exercise that right.”
If you are a student who has been censored on campus, FIRE and its Legal Network partners stand ready to protect your First Amendment rights in court. Students interested in submitting their case to FIRE’s Million Voices Campaign may do so through FIRE’s online case submission form. Attorneys interested in joining FIRE’s Legal Network should apply on FIRE’s website.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.