I Support The Mayor


And you can't expect free speech to remain free without paying some collective dues.

As a lifelong Leftist, it seems like a no-brainer for me to support the rights of people to assemble peacefully for any purpose -- no matter how frightening, disgusting, or upsetting I find the issue.

It's a problem that this is something being shunned by so many Americans, particularly those who stand for liberalism.
The post-modernist feeling-mongers of the right aren't looking for freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, as has been interpreted many times has certain parameters.

The Supreme Court Ruled that, "the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality." (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire)

And it is difficult to think that double white-supremacist rallies in Portland-Fucking-Oregon after white-supremacist murders on the MAX would pass the Brandenburg test.

These things, I think, being true, it becomes difficult to say that they are protected (whether or not they should be). And if right gets the pass, it becomes difficult to say why people shouldn't be out there to counter-protest, permit or not. And—since the Oregon GOP are saying they might forgo civic law enforcement and rely on heavily armed right-wing extremist groups for their security—it's hard to see where the left wouldn't be justified in the formation of a Red Guard or something.

...It would be really exciting to say that we lived through the Weimar Republic and everything, but even in this darkest reality scenario, let's all pity the poor historian of the future who has to go through endless comments containing the sentences: "No—YOU'RE the hipster," and, "I came to Portland two weeks ago when it was edgy. You're ruining the city by having come yesterday!"
@The Immortal Goon: The Supreme Court also ruled that Neo-Nazis could march on Skokie, IL displaying swastikas, the insignias signifying the systematic murder of many relatives of the residents of Skokie.

Considering the conflicting nature of these two landmark cases, it would seem that the definition of "fighting words" is more of the nature of the immediately insulting rather than ideologies of the hateful-yet-organized-and-nonviolent variety.

In the words of Walter Sobchak, "say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude -- at least it's an ethos."

If people are assembling peacefully, then their gathering falls under the heading of free speech. Even under circumstances which are deplorable due to their particularly offensive timing or placement, such as these. The case of the despicable yet nonviolent Neo-Nazi march in Skokie, where victims or relatives of victims of Nazism numbered 1 in 6 at the time of the march, is symbolic of this truth.

To be liberal, one has to stand up for liberal principles... Especially when it hurts.
The problem with the mayor's approach is that it is a prior restraint. In the Chaplinsky case, he was punished for what he said after he said it. The Skokie case was an attempt to block a protest, like this situation. Also, it is always better to let the roaches come out into the light than to leave them scurrying about in the dark.
demondog has it right. there is a huge distinction between a prior restraint--preventing speech base on what might be said or done--and post speech prosecution or civil action. sorry folks, but we don't prevent speech or assembly based on what the speaker MIGHT say. chaplinsky concerned post speech consequences. the skokie case was an attempt at a prior restraint. the two case do not conflict in any way.
Let them have the rally and make it the most documented event in recent history. Post photos and videos identifying every vile, alt-white POS and let the chips fall.