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In defense of protest: Why speech can address injustice, and violence must be condemn

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Unread 09.15.20, 03:11 PM
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In defense of protest: Why speech can address injustice, and violence must be condemn

09.15.20 07:22 AM

Imagine this scene:*Four people walk into the Oklahoma County Clerk’s Office to search land records.*One wears a shirt that says “God Bless America.” Another person’s shirt says “Black Lives Matter.”*Shirt number three says “Boomer Sooner,” and the fourth shirt shows cartoon cat Garfield declaring “I hate Mondays.” The four citizens are not protesting. They’re simply wearing their shirts and searching land records. So which one is violating resolution 2020-3957, which sought to regulate free speech on county properties? They all might be violators — and county officials can require they leave. The resolution states that “the interiors and exteriors of county-owned buildings are not open to the public for the purpose of free speech expression and are expressly reserved for the exclusive functioning of county government and the courts.”*But are these four people really breaking the law? They’re searching public documents — if they aren’t protesting or disrupting county business, how are they doing anything wrong? Here’s how: Because the building is not open “for the purpose of free speech expression,” any free speech expression could be considered unlawful. Person number four may be searching land records, but the county could declare it’s a blatant “free speech expression” to demonstrate […]

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