Free Speech Friday Triumphs Over New Legislation
Although the ban against any sort of amplification may have been set into administrative law as of November 1st, Free Speech Friday from noon to four went on just as planned. Accessorized with two megaphones, a handful of speakers and a bucket of chalk, the event commenced and carried on until the sun disappeared behind brick and mortar without a single disruption from police or administration.
“Well this is what would have happened,” said Shane Hillman, leader of the event, “They would have taken away my megaphone and put me in handcuffs. Not precisely good publicity for the college. They were just trying to scare us into silence.” Indeed, at least a dozen people would have been handcuffed, but they persevered with constitutionality as their first amendment backbone. As planned, the air was filled with readings from books on Marxism, poetry, analytic assertions about the fashion industry, complaints, touches of environmentalism (which one geology teacher heartily laughed at), great gushing sentiments on optimism and a nice speech from the always supportive Bennett Schaber on “redesigning the system.” All the while day-glo scribblings commenced that filled the quad; the best being the following, by my delineation and by my desire to preserve what will quickly be washed away:
“Flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” — Douglas Adams
Free speech is only free when it is equally as free at 100 decibels as it is at one.
Free Speech Friday indefinitely serves as a component that has long since gone missing in the industrialized, technology-oriented communicative methods of today. For although we move toward the creation of a “global brain” through which world wide, fast-paced internet unites us as one social conscience it is important to establish local communication that addresses both local and global issues. One can only hope that those that flippantly walk by are participating in the “global brain” with their computer and phones in a way that articulates the sentiments displayed in the quad. Which is also note-worthy for the fact that information dissemination through the internet is perhaps MORE dangerous to maintaining obedience than real life vocalization. If one is to ban free speech done with one’s voice then one would also have to ban free speech through the internet for optimal effect and leveled legislative practices — both invade our private methodologies to interact in the public sphere. To any future disciplinary action banning speech in both auditory and virtual form, the very flesh of communication we could say, there would still remain the ideas in the private mind however absent in the public domain. It is only appropriate to utilize a quote as the fifth of November is now upon us.
“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.” — V for Vendetta