The Uncivil Termination of Professor Steven Salaita

By: Wednesday September 10, 2014 1:35 pm

Professor Steven Salaita was terminated from a tenured faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) because he sent out tweets through his personal Twitter account that were critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Yesterday, he delivered his first statement on what happened to a room full of supporters on the UIUC campus—a number of which had walked out of their classes.

 

Georgia Republicans Have Citizen Arrested for Videotaping Them at Public Event

By: Tuesday September 2, 2014 8:56 am

Nydia Tisdale is a citizen journalist in Georgia. She does not get paid for her work, but instead sees it as a civic duty to record politicians and the political process, and then upload those videos to YouTube. What she does is in large part what democracy is all about– involved, informed citizens exercising their rights under the First Amendment.

Not in Georgia.

Podcast: The Targeting of Free Speech & Activism Around Palestinians on University or College Campuses

By: Sunday April 6, 2014 9:14 am

Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a “fighting retreat,” as one professor at Columbia College Chicago, who had his academic freedom violated, puts it. They are confronting vibrant activism from students calling attention to the suffering of Palestinian people under Israeli military occupation, and, in trying to overcome the challenge they present to their worldview, they are engaged in the suppression of freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of assembly on college or university campuses.

Saudi Arabia Codifies Atheism as Terrorism

By: Thursday April 3, 2014 12:51 pm

Our partners in peace in Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from) has now made it a crime to not believe in God. In fact, not just a crime, an act of terrorism.

The kingdom has issued a public order that labels all atheists as terrorists.

N.W.A., KISS, Nirvana Among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

By: Wednesday October 16, 2013 3:15 pm

N.W.A., the revolutionary rap group which famously sang “Fuck tha Police,” has been nominated for a second time to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. N.W.A.’s album Straight Outta Compton had the distinction of being one of the early adopters of the Parental Advisory label

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 1:59 pm

No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

Late Night: What Leon Rosby’s Murdered Dog Means: The NSA, Free Speech, Citizen Reporters and More

By: Wednesday July 10, 2013 8:00 pm

Over the last week and a half the interwebs have been engulfed by a state of righteous raaaaage over the shooting of a family pet by a Hawthorne, California police officer. And the response shows why the NSA’s surveillance plans could go horribly wrong and victimize the wrong people.

FDL Movie Night: High Tech, Low Life

By: Monday July 8, 2013 4:59 pm

Stephen Maing’s documentary High Tech, Low Life reveals the efforts of two of China’s most visible bloggers, Tiger Temple and Zola, two very different reporters with apparently different motivations whose work scaling “the Great Firewall” walks the fine line between political dissidence and social commentary.

Activists the US Military Targeted & Spied Upon Were Designated ‘Domestic Terrorists’

By: Tuesday June 25, 2013 5:00 pm

Activists who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild have learned that they were listed in a national domestic terrorist database after being targeted and spied upon by the United States Army and Coast Guard, a Washington Fusion Center and police departments in the state of Washington.

Beginning of the End of FBI National Security Letter Gag Provisions?

By: Tuesday March 19, 2013 7:35 am

On RT America, I discuss the recent court ruling in a lawsuit where an unnamed telecommunications company (believed to be Credo) challenged the gag provisions in FBI national security letters.

A US district court in California found in a decision made public on Friday that Nondisclosure or gag provisions of National Security Letters “significantly infringe upon speech regarding controversial government powers.” The provisions were found to violate the First Amendment and the “separation of powers principles.” The court also determined the provisions were effectively preventing public debate on surveillance.

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