Tuesday, June 21, 2016
#FreeSpeech in the News: June 21, 2016
As the Citadel of Free Speech here in Cleveland, we work to protect and promote the basis of our democracy by sharing related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century. Here's what's making the news - and what you should know about - this week.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives began to consider H.R. 5053, a bill entitled the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act.” Arising from concerns that the IRS has become and increasingly politicized entity that has used its power to target conservative non-profits, as in the Lois Lerner affair, this bill is designed to protect such organizations’ right to freedom of speech.
Multiple news outlets, including WBNS-10TV, report that the ACLU is suing the city of Cleveland over its rules governing protests at the Republican National Convention in July on the grounds that they violate protestors free speech rights.
"The restrictions on speech put in place by the city of Cleveland are arbitrary, unnecessary and unjustifiable," said Christine Link, executive director for the ACLU of Ohio. "The current rules for demonstrations at the RNC are actively blocking groups from all sides of the political spectrum from participating in their government."
And finally, one a broader scale, Denis MacEoin, writing for the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council this week, offers insights on how Islamic Fundamentalism has impacted free speech.
"The chief threat to free speech today comes from a combination of radical Islamic censorship and Western political correctness. Over the past century and more, Western societies have built up a consensus on the centrality of freedom of expression. We are allowed to criticize any political system or ideology we care to: capitalism, socialism, liberalism, communism, libertarianism, anarchism, even democracy itself."