Occupy LA Protestors Offered Class on “Limits of Free Speech”


Occupy LA protestors who were arrested in December have been told that they can avoid a court trial…if they pay $355 to a private company that will “educate” them about their free speech rights.   The class is being offered to protestors who were arrested on low-level misdemeanor offenses and do not have a prior criminal history.

Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter claims that the educational program, offered by the American Justice League, will save the city money by avoiding the need for a trail. Protestors who complete the class successfully will not face any charges.

As if the idea of paying off a private company to avoid legal troubles weren’t offensive enough, Carter elaborated on the need for the class, telling the LA Times, “The first amendment is not absolute.” He believes that protestors need to be educated about the “limits” of the first amendment – presumably to make life more convenient for the LAPD.

An attorney who’s worked closely with Occupy LA says the class is “patronizing,” maintaining that nothing the protestors did was against the law. Meanwhile, the city is looking at the possibility of expanding the class, offering it as an option to antiwar demonstrators and students upset with tuition hikes.

It remains to be seen if any protesters decide to take the city up on the offer.


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Photo by: AndYaDontStop


Shawn A.
Shawn A.5 years ago

There are limitations to free speech. It cannot be known falsehood and injurious to others. If it is true and injurious that is fine. As long as it is true it is fine. I doubt the protesters in question were actually doing anything that would violate the parameters of protected speech.

As far as the Socialism aside: Socialism is doomed to failure. It is a form of government and they are all doomed to failure. Only when society itself evolves to the point where they truly understand "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you", will they get past the need for true governments.

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago


Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons6 years ago

exercise your free speech rights and then you get framed.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm6 years ago

John U neither of those countries practiced true socialism. They were dictatorships.

Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

How would police departments, law enforcement, and justice officials around the country like the opportunty to pony up good money to study free speech at some of our nation's finer public institutions instead of trying to force people to swallow self-serving corporate propaganda?

Nancy L.
Nancy L6 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

John U.
John U.6 years ago

Not clear what socialism has to do with constitutional rights but since it's been proffered ... I saw the results of the USSR form of management in two countries -- Russia and Ukraine ... and not as a tourist. Be careful what you wish for.

Government officials in socialist countries take their share first before deciding that the rest of it will be shared equally, as managed by the bureaucrats, who take their share first before deciding how to share the rest of it equally, according to need, as the result of ability.

It's a clever idea.

Ahab G.
Ahab G.6 years ago

@Ian F.: Marx was an angry imperialistic dick and his experiment failed spectacularly. Go study Engels instead. And add cooperatives. The rest of your list though, yeah right on.

This is so insulting I have heartburn. These are little more than a hybrid of mafia kneebreakers and aristocratic town criers threatening the masses.

Ian Fletcher
Ian Fletcher6 years ago

Higher taxes for the rich. More help for the poor.
Marx, Dickens, Rosa Luxemburg, Jesus, the union movements, were all visionaries. More socialism in all societies please.