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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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According to Chief of Campus Safety John Farmer, Benoit refused to move to the designated Free Speech Zone on campus when asked, adding that there is a no leaflet policy on campus.
"If this person is outside the confines of the free speech area and refuses to leave, then campus safety will approach," said Kate Mueller, dean of students services. "Colleges by federal law can define time, place and manner (of free speech on campus)."
According to civil rights and freedom of speech attorney Michael Collins of Newport Beach, a free speech zone on campus is unconstitutional.
"A free speech zone is limiting your first amendment rights and would not appear to be consistent with the first amendment rights of the constitution," Collins said.
He added that the college is restricting speech by having a zone where people can promote causes.
"Your right to freedom of speech does not have geographical restrictions. You either have it or you don't," Collins said. "I don't agree that this free speech zone is consistent with what the constitution says."
Highlight mine.

This is relevant to my interests since this is the exact group and outreach I contribute to.

I can't imagine they'll actually win against VO's attorney. She has a clear cut First Amendment right to leaflet on any public college, as long as she stays on the sidewalk and doesn't harass or impede students. There's already a legal precedent that was set in the Supreme Court in 1995 - Heffron v. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc.

Yes, she has a permission slip. It was signed by Thomas Jefferson.
 

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This is ridiculous.

I was at a protest a few weeks ago and someone yelled out, "What makes you think you have the right to be here?"

Um, I don't know. Maybe that thing called THE FIRST AMENDMENT?
 

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Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

Pffft..yeah..it's not like the country we live in basically exists in part because of pamphleteers or anything.

Leafleting and other forms of free speech are obviously Un-American.
People like these are in severe need of a copy of "Civil Disobedience".
 

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One college where I leaflet has "free speech zones." I generally stay in the zones but every now and then I don't. I've never been asked to move by campus security.

But at another school, a security officer once harassed me and kept telling me to leave even though I was in the free speech zone. He called the real cops on us. Of course, i handed leaflets to the cops
I just had a calm conversation with a college administrator and she confirmed my right to be there. When I go back now, that security officer won't look me in the eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's weird..the college I leaflet at doesn't seem to give half a damn whether I'm there or not. I've never been approached and asked to leave by any faculty or security. I guess it varies widely from campus to campus. I keep half expecting my lucky streak to end, as I'm sure it eventually will, but so far they just don't seem to care one way or the other. I'm ready for 'em though. I've got the print off of the "notice for law enforcement and officials" and I've memorized the relevant parts of my state constitution that protect my rights. If they still ask me to leave or move, I might not go as far as Nikki though. I'll definitely want their contact info so VO's attorney can get in touch with them and educate them on my rights, if that happens. Best case scenario is it doesn't happen at all, of course.

I can understand why Nikki fought them. She comes across as a very passionate and energetic person, for one. I've read so many posts from her on the AAC group and she very obviously has more enthusiasm for vegan outreach in her little finger than I have in my entire body. Her heart's obviously in the right place and I hope she wins this and they leave her the hell alone from now on, but I'm sure even if they don't she'll keep fighting.
 

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I agree that everyone has a constitutional right to practice free speech just about anywhere, but I think it's totally reasonable that colleges try to have special areas just for this sort of thing. I'm a college student right now. We have all sorts of people who come on campus to push their agenda, whether they are literal Bible-thumpers, anti-abortion activists, vegan activists, people trying to get you to sign a petition, or Hare Krishnas. It gets old. Really old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

I agree that everyone has a constitutional right to practice free speech just about anywhere, but I think it's totally reasonable that colleges try to have special areas just for this sort of thing. I'm a college student right now. We have all sorts of people who come on campus to push their agenda, whether they are literal Bible-thumpers, anti-abortion activists, vegan activists, people trying to get you to sign a petition, or Hare Krishnas. It gets old. Really old.
You have the option of walking right on by.

I promise you I have absolute confidence that nobody from Vegan Outreach or Mercy For Animals will ever impede your path or try to push anything on you too strongly. That's not how we do things. At all.
 

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A free speech zone would be the most hilarious concept I've ever heard of if it wasn't so sad.

Also screw what a piece of paper says, even if it is the Holy Writ of a secular state, people can freely associate and if you don't like what one person does, you can go elsewhere, or lump it. If they're not being violent against your person or your friends, there's no reason to move them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

I agree that everyone has a constitutional right to practice free speech just about anywhere, but I think it's totally reasonable that colleges try to have special areas just for this sort of thing. I'm a college student right now. We have all sorts of people who come on campus to push their agenda, whether they are literal Bible-thumpers, anti-abortion activists, vegan activists, people trying to get you to sign a petition, or Hare Krishnas. It gets old. Really old.
I don't think it's reasonable. Every public area needs to be a free speech area, I don't care if it gets old. People can ignore them if they choose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's an idealized vision of the world and it's a world I'd like to live in, Kappa, but in this world if there's not a solid document at the foundation of a society like the U.S. Constitution among others, fascists get free reign to violate our natural human rights. The Constitution is inherent in our very nature. It certainly doesn't exist ONLY on a piece of paper, but it sure doesn't hurt when it comes to defending ourselves from bullies who try to violate our rights to be aware of what those rights actually are. Personally whenever I'm leafleting or doing anything that involves putting myself in a position where I'm doing my duty as an American, I keep a little pocket copy of the Constitution in my back pocket just in case I have to prove to the massive forces of oppression that yes, in fact, I do have rights and what's more, I know what they are.

(A British citizen could just as easily do the same thing with a copy of your own bill of rights. It's not about America. It's about the natural rights of man as expressed by the constitutions of free nations. A person like Nikki has a fundamental legal right to do what she does. It would be unconstitutional in either the U.S. or Britain for a person in a public place to be censored from handing out literature.)
 

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I think people also forget that George W. slaughtered the Constitution by signing the Patriot Act.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many aspects of the Patriot act and other acts more directly annoying to vegans like the AETA are routinely dismissed in courts as unconstitutional. Some aspects of the Patriot Act have even been struck down in federal court. I don't think the majority of Americans will ever stand for a blatant attack on the core of the bill of rights, and 100% of the work that groups like VO specifically do is above ground and perfectly legal. They're not a direct action group, so attempts to stifle their freedom of expression is even more ludicrous.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

(A British citizen could just as easily do the same thing with a copy of your own bill of rights. It's not about America. It's about the natural rights of man as expressed by the constitutions of free nations. A person like Nikki has a fundamental legal right to do what she does. It would be unconstitutional in either the U.S. or Britain for a person in a public place to be censored from handing out literature.)
Actually so far as I know we don't have any single piece of paper. A lot of British law is sort of 'by tradition' which is why it's so easy for them to turn around and use water cannons /another discussion.

But yea, I am a little blue sky. I am happy that this will set a precedent in the place though, and hopefully challenge 'free speech zones.'
 

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A college is private property, I just stay on public property when I leaflet, if the college had a free speech zone the guy should have been there
Laws like this are in place so they can tell people like the KKK to leave without them going "But its free speech" and yeh it sucks that laws like this are in place but they are there for a reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
While public colleges are technically private property in the strictest sense of the word, the same laws that protect people's freedom of speech on public streets usually apply to the walkways of public campuses. Not to mention college kids are the ideal audience to leaflet with a compassionate message.

Under the tutelage of the tireless and awesome Jon Camp and assisted by three other wonderful young leafleters, we exposed 2000 people at Middle Tennessee State University to the truth this morning and afternoon. Nine of the ones I talked to were either already vegetarian or decided to stop eating meat just because I chose to do this with my time today. Those are just the ones I talked to. Not counting the ones Jon or the others got. It's absolutely worth our time and effort to exercise our legal right to leaflet colleges specifically.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

Under the tutelage of the tireless and awesome Jon Camp and assisted by three other wonderful young leafleters, we exposed 2000 people at Middle Tennessee State University to the truth this morning and afternoon. Nine of the ones I talked to were either already vegetarian or decided to stop eating meat just because I chose to do this with my time today. Those are just the ones I talked to. Not counting the ones Jon or the others got. It's absolutely worth our time and effort to exercise our legal right to leaflet colleges specifically.
Awesome.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh James xVx View Post

While public colleges are technically private property in the strictest sense of the word, the same laws that protect people's freedom of speech on public streets usually apply to the walkways of public campuses. Not to mention college kids are the ideal audience to leaflet with a compassionate message.

Under the tutelage of the tireless and awesome Jon Camp and assisted by three other wonderful young leafleters, we exposed 2000 people at Middle Tennessee State University to the truth this morning and afternoon. Nine of the ones I talked to were either already vegetarian or decided to stop eating meat just because I chose to do this with my time today. Those are just the ones I talked to. Not counting the ones Jon or the others got. It's absolutely worth our time and effort to exercise our legal right to leaflet colleges specifically.
I'm not saying colleges shouldn't be leafleted, just saying stay in the free speech zone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Originally Posted by vegansarawr View Post

I'm not saying colleges shouldn't be leafleted, just saying stay in the free speech zone.
The Free Speech Zone is a farce and a joke. I'd have reached less than a tenth of the young people I reached today if I'd been confined to some murky back corner. People have the option of walking by. If you're not impeding their path directly or being mean or harassing, there's absolutely no legal reason you shouldn't be able to leaflet anywhere on a college sidewalk you please. As I posted before there's a legal precedent. The Hare Krishnas took it all the way to the supreme court in 1995 and won. People have the right to leaflet on any sidewalk on any public campus, period. That IS the law.
 

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Good job Josh!

It's crazy that people want to give up their rights either because it's just gotten "too old" to see or hear others express their speech rights, or they're so afraid they might be offended by speech that they don't like. I think people who are relatively comfortable with the status quo feel this way.

I on the other hand am perfectly capable of walking past speech that I don't like or feel represents a view I don't agree with or even despise. Or I'm free to use my own speech rights and engage them or do counter leafleting.
 
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