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What Are the Limits of Free Speech?

Offbeat  (tags: Free Speech, Limits )

- 1501 days ago -
The shockwave from the hail of bullets that murdered 12 French cartoonists and journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January continues to reverberate around the world.


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Animae C (509)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 1:24 am
Thanx Ray.....
& Nyack

pam w (139)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 7:59 am
Living with and enjoying freedom of speech means you will someday be offended. That's the way it works. Get over it!

I will NOT cower in fear because some barbarian decides to shut me up!

I will NOT see my country held in fear of ''offending'' someone.

I WILL stand for freedom of speech at any time and any place.

Those of you who cower in fear might remember what happened to the Chinese during their "Cultural Revolution"...people were thrown in prison for speaking their thoughts.


Roro l (0)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 8:38 am

Roberto MARINI (88)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 9:02 am
thanks for sharing this important post.

Ben O (128)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 10:05 am
Limits of Free Speech...??? -No way! -Common sense is good enough, thanks very much!

Birgit W (160)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 2:47 pm
Everybody should have the right of freedom of speech.

pam w (139)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 3:52 pm
The US ''blew parts of Japan off the map" because we were at war...not because the drew cartoons of Jesus. And yes, there ARE laws against "slander and liable" (sic)...but, again, depicting Mohammad in a cartoon is neither of those things. Even if it WERE....the terrorists have the right to not look, not read and pay no attention. They do NOT have the right to kill people, simply because they don't like a cartoon.

And anyone who thinks we should give up our rights to produce those cartoons IS cowering in fear.

Ben's ''common sense" applies to the old cliche about yelling ''fire'' in a theater, etc.

I'm horrified at this ''can't use hate speech'' baloney....WHEN DOES THAT END? Will we not be allowed to say something bad about the Pope? Or Jerry Falwell? Or the Dalai Lama? Or the Australians? Or the Mongolians? Or does ''hate speech'' only apply to a few religions, some of whose adherents are violent, blood-thirsty THUGS? It's ridiculous.

Joanne D (37)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 4:50 pm
If "violent, bloodthirsty THUGS" is intended to refer to Muslims, I have to throw in that "THUGS" were Hindu, not Muslim. They worshiped the goddess Kali, and the lives they took, usually by strangulation, were sacrifices to her. They also were anything but typical of Hindus in general. I say "was" without intention to deny that some might still exist, although if so, they keep a mighty low profile.

Gloria H (88)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 7:00 pm
sometimes I just want to vomit on politically correct folks shoes. If you don't want to be offended or splattered with second hand lunch, don't stand near me.
As with the Aryan Nation, Nazi's, Rap singers...go ahead and mouth off your only reveals your stupidity.
Just cause you are a loud tree falling in the forest doesn't mean I want to hear it. After you make your loud thump, I will just walk around you.

Vicky P (476)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 8:05 pm
There shouldn't be any limits, the fact that the western world is questioning itself on this is offensive in itself, will I go shoot up the people questioning it? No. Because I'm not a bloody savage, we shouldn't have to be scared of people that can't take criticism, they can suck it up and deal with it because that's how it works

. (0)
Sunday May 10, 2015, 8:52 pm
Free speech and protest

The right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest are crucial in a democracy – information and ideas help to inform political debate and are essential to public accountability and transparency in Government.

"Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free"

- Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

Freedom of speech and freedom to protest are closely linked – free speech would mean nothing if there was no right to use public spaces to make your views known.

The rights to free speech and protest, along with the right to form and join associations or groups, are found in Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act.

These rights can be limited by law to protect the interests of others, but only when the limitation is proportionate and necessary in a democratic society.

So, for example:

the right to free speech will not protect a person who tries to spread hateful lies against another but it will protect fair comment;

the right to protest won’t protect violent gatherings but it will protect peaceful protest.

In recent years we have seen a variety of measures introduced that undermine the right to protest and freedom of speech:

Laws intended to combat anti-social behaviour, terrorism and serious crime are routinely used against legitimate protesters;

Broadly drafted anti-terrorism offences of 'encouragement' and 'glorification' of terrorism threaten to make careless talk a crime;

Membership of certain organisations can be banned under anti-terror laws even if the organisation is non-violent and political;

Hate speech laws have been extended in a piecemeal way to ban ever-expanding categories of speech;

Broad anti-terrorism powers of stop and search have been used to harass and stifle peaceful protesters;

Protest around Parliament has been severely restricted by laws limiting and overly regulating the right to assemble and protest around Parliament.

Winn A (179)
Monday May 11, 2015, 6:00 am
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