Thursday, April 19, 2007

Large Men in Suits

Here's to the BYU students who are unwilling to allow Cheney's visit here to be quite the asskissfest he probably hopes it will be.

Somehow they managed to navigate BYU's Byzantine regulations in order to stage a protest. When the clock ran out on the demonstration's allotted time, the "free-speech zone" vanished and security thugs quickly moved in to menace the protesters. This footage is from Steven Greenstreet--who created This Divided State, a video documenting the controversy surrounding Michael Moore's 2004 visit to Utah Valley State College in Provo--and his associates.

The world probably hasn't seen protesters as polite as these since demure and conservatively attired pre-Stonewall lesbians and gays quietly carried neatly lettered placards around in circles in front of the White House in 1964. The BYU students preface every statement with thanks to BYU's administration for granting them the "opportunity" to exercise their First Amendment rights.

They follow every arbitrary rule to the letter. They know the alternative, in a time when property rights trump just about every other civil right--including free speech--is to be shut down entirely, if not booted out of school, transcripts frozen. (Brandon Burt)

13 comments:

  1. "They follow every arbitrary rule to the letter. They know the alternative, in a time when property rights trump just about every other civil right--including free speech--is to be shut down entirely, if not booted out of school, transcripts frozen."

    This seems to characterize the protesters' conduct as fearful. I would say it is savvy. By adhering closely to the protest rules and procedures, they undermine the administration's supposed concerns of disruption and chaos. Their peacefulness is a direct attack on the university's protest policies.

    This comes out best near the end, where in the so-called "Q&A" session the student asks "what are you so afraid of?"

    ReplyDelete
  2. You obviously misunderstand what the First Amendment is for. It only keeps the 'government' from restricting your political speech, not private universities on private property. If you were to stand in my front yard and spew your crap, I would have you arrested for trespassing. If you slander me, you can either shut the hell up or I will sue you. If you want to protest somebody do it on 'public' land, not private.

    The Bill Of Rights concerns the restriction of the GOVERNMENT'S action on our rights. BYU is not the government and can have its own rules governing behavior on its property. You don't like it, pay your tuition and go somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So, if I understand you correctly, "anonymous", you're saying that since it might be legal for BYU, as a private university, to disallow political demonstrations, that any criticism of the way it treats its students is invalid.

    If, as you say, property rights ought to always supercede the Bill of Rights, then it would be perfectly legal if the owners of the Gateway were to disallow prayer or any other expression of religion on premises. Or they could even pick and choose if they liked, allowing religious expression for those of certain faiths but not of others. If the condo or merchants associations complained, the Gateway could just say, "If you don't like it, pay your fees and go somewhere else."

    I doubt, "anonymous", that you--or any sane person--would want to go down that road. Just because it might be legal to be a fascist bastard doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea. (Brandon Burt)

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