Protestors must be freely granted the time and space to have their voices heard.
The First Amendment protects both the speech we agree with and that with which we disagree.
First Amendment protections of free speech are broad.
The First Amendment does not merely protect the speech of people we agree with or who say reasonable things. In fact, if all speech is not free then there is no free speech. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In the 45 words that begin the Bill of Rights, five American freedoms are guaranteed.
Among them is the freedom of speech.
No American right is more fundamental than the freedom of speech.
As Americans, we should never be afraid to speak our minds.
The First Amendment applies to everyone — liberals, conservatives, libertarians, activists, protestors, and people with whom we disagree.
In New York Times vs. Sullivan, the Supreme Court said, “We consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”
The First Amendment protects freedom.
Our constitutionally protected freedoms are inextricably tied together and include:
— Freedom of religion.
— Freedom of speech.
— Freedom of the press.
— Freedom to assemble.
— Freedom to petition the government in protest.
Many of our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives for the freedoms we hold dear as citizens of the United States of America.
They fought for our rights of free speech even if that includes things we find objectionable, distasteful, hateful, irritating or just completely disgusting.
The kinds of broad freedoms we are talking about are patently American freedoms and distinguish us from nations less free.
Communities all across the nation are hearing people speaking out and sometimes acting out regarding racism, political ideologies and otherwise exercising their First Amendment rights.
Violence, vandalism and looting are all wrong and crimes not so much against the government but against the very communities and small business owners who are just trying to make a living there. Rather than hurting others in those ways, protestors should strongly voice their pain, their frustrations and their solutions to the systemic problems they hope to overcome.
No one should silence them.
They deserve to be heard and nothing could be more American than giving them the time and space to be heard.
When public speech is restricted, it is no longer free speech — and where there is no free speech, there is no real freedom.