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View Diary: UTC (TN) Student arrested, maced, charged with "inciting a riot" for challenging Hate Preacher (92 comments)

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  •  So you're saying that if the police see two (5+ / 0-)

    people engaged in a heated argument, with a crowd behind one of them, they should just stand back and watch and have to right to step in and try to prevent physical violence?  

    I'm about as antireligious and antiauthoritarian as they come.  But I'd say this arrest was as common sense as it's possible to be.  Of course police have the right to step and tell people who are arguing to move on.  The obnoxious woman had gotten a permit.  If she wasn't violating the terms of that permit, she had the right to speak.  He also had the right to speak, with or without a permit - just at a distance that was not likely to create a risk of physical violence.

    I simply don't get this idea that people have a right of free speech - but only if they're saying something we agree with and want to hear.  THAT attitude legitimately upsets me.

    •  I remember some heated arguments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon, carver

      at town halls in 2010. No baggers arrested to my knowledge. Public debate and discourse is not always polite, it can be loud, it can be hostile, but as long as it is spoken words and not physical actions, the government should not intrude into the realm of speech. Nothing in his recorded statement incites others to violence. The police over reacted, as they are increasingly inclined to do it seems. Even if force was justified, grabbing his arm and dragging him away was the legitimate response, not macing and flopping him.

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