Tag: Free Speech

Right-Wing Billionaires Are Funding a Cynical Plot to Destroy Dissent and Protest in Colleges Across the U.S. | Alternet

As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family.

S.D. Passes Law to Crack Down on Protests

PIERRE, S.D. (CN) – Responding to the massive Dakota Access Pipeline protests that unfolded throughout 2016 in North Dakota, South Dakota’s governor has signed into law a bill that would expand the power of his office to curtail protest activities in the state.

Senate Bill 176 allows the governor to set up “public safety zones” in which protest activities can be limited to gatherings of 20 people or less. It also authorizes the state’s Department of Transportation to restrict protester access to highways by prohibiting “stopping, standing or parking” in certain areas.

The law, which is a direct response to the Native American-led massive protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, does not sit well with the state’s nine tribes and other advocates of free speech.

There’s nothing outrageous about stamping out bigoted speech.

“But this moment in American politics and American life proves that the victory of reason cannot always be assured. The purveyors of logic, of facts dutifully checked and delivered to the public, lost big league in November. The cost has been an erosion of our national character that we will be powerless to stop unless we fight prejudice wherever it lies. The critics of political correctness have argued that shutting down certain conversations may bear political costs and alienate potential allies. This is a certainty. Morality is alienating. But the costs of being moral have been borne successfully by innumerable movements for social change. This is, to borrow a phrase, a time for choosing. In the Trump era, should we side with those who insist that the bigoted must traipse unhindered through our halls of learning? Or should we dare to disagree?”