In light of the tasing incident at Florida University and a similar event at our nation’s capitol reaction to the obvious restrictions on free speech have been loud and frequent. Yesterday, on Hardball, host Chris Matthews discusses 1st Amendment restrictions with Joe Conason and Media Benjamin and all three agree that our civil liberties are at risk and freedom of speech has been reduced to ‘free speech zones’.
Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
We have to understand what time it is. When the state starts to hurt people for asking questions, we can no longer operate on the leisurely time of a strong democracy — the ‘Oh gosh how awful!’ kind of time. It is time to take to the streets. It is time to confront those committing crimes against the Constitution. The window has now dropped several precipitous inches and once it is closed there is no opening it without great and sorrowful upheaval.
We also need to understand from history that the temptation at a moment like this to grow more quiet — to stay out of the line of fire — is the wrong choice by far. History shows categorically that if citizens do not stand up now to confront and imprison the abusers, things do not get safer — they get much more dangerous for ordinary people, activist or not.
I was scared when I wrote The End of America — personally scared because the blueprint I was tracing in the summer of 2006 showed clearly that protesters and critics would start to be hurt within the year. When I told a dear friend that I was scared, he gently reminded me of the history I was reading. He asked, will things be scarier for you and the ones you love if you speak up now — or if you are silent?
We don’t just need to speak up now. We need to act. It is time to rebel in the name of the flag and the founders.
Peaceful anti-war rallies are becoming more and more confrontational as police attempt to restrict free speech. Like Naomi Wolf said we may need to employ our 2nd Amendment rights to enforce our 1st Amendment.