The Government’s War on Free Speech: Protest Laws Undermine the First Amendment

The Rutherford Institute

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”— George Washington

It’s a given that the government is corrupt, unaccountable, and has exceeded its authority.

So what can we do about it?

The first remedy involves speech (protest, assembly, speech, prayer, and publicity), and lots of it, in order to speak truth to power.

The First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights, affirms the right of “we the people” to pray freely about our grievances regarding the government. We can gather together peacefully to protest those grievances. We can publicize those grievances. And we can express our displeasure (peacefully) in word and deed.

Unfortunately, tyrants don’t like people who speak truth to power.

The American Police State has shown itself to be particularly intolerant of free speech activities that challenge its authority, stand up to its power grabs, and force it to operate according to the rules of the Constitution.

Cue the rise of protest laws, the police state’s go-to methods for muzzling discontent.

These protest laws, some of which appear to encourage violence against peaceful protesters by providing immunity to individuals who drive their car into protesters impeding traffic and use preemptive deadly force against protesters who might be involved in a riot, take intolerance for speech with which one might disagree to a whole new level.…

A Soviet Dissident Explains American Censorship

American Institute for Economic Research

Many consider Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate to be the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century. A searing portrait of Stalinist Russia, Life and Fate on its very first page exposes the bitter truth about authoritarianism: “Everything that lives is unique. It is unimaginable that two people, or two briar-roses, should be identical … If you attempt to erase the peculiarities and individuality of life by violence, then life itself must suffocate.”

As a war correspondent, Grossman was noted for his bravery. Grossman was on the frontlines during the defense of Moscow and the battle for Stalingrad. Grossman was there too, at the aftermath of Babi Yar and Treblinka.  

Robert Chandler is Grossman’s translator. Chandler traces the emergence of a powerful voice against totalitarianism to Grossman’s early novels.

Chandler writes that “in 1932 [the writer Maxim] Gorky criticized a [Grossman] draft for ‘naturalism’ – a Soviet code word for presenting too much unpalatable reality.” Gorky suggested to Grossman that “The author should ask himself: ‘Why am I writing? Which truth am I confirming? Which truth do I wish to triumph?’”

The “truth” Gorky is referring to is, of course, the belief that Stalin’s brand of communism is the supreme way to organize society.…

They Are Rolling Out The Architecture Of Oppression Now Because They Fear The People

Caitlin Johnstone

“As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world,” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said in a recent interview. “Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what is being built is the architecture of oppression.”

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