Monday, February 27, 2017

I Demand My 1st Amendment Rights!! BTW What are they? Part 1, Freedom of Speech

Your First Amendment Rights include:
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of Assembly
Freedom of Religioin
Freedom of Petition
First let's talk about.....
Freedom of Speech:
  • The obvious is the right of every citizen to speak his or her mind, especially when it comes to politics. In a nutshell, it means if you want to say you disapprove or have negative feelings about the President of the United States or any other representative, you can, and you won't be arrested for doing so.
  • Freedom of Speech is sometimes called Freedom of Expression; they are essentially the same, although 'expression' also means expressing yourself in different ways.
Freedom of Speech means you can:
  • Seek, receive, or give out information
  • This would mean you can look for information without fear of being arrested or penalized. You can seek information in person, through records, through libraries, online, and through the mail.

  • You can also receive information: If you call and ask, or visit and ask, a source to send you information-that is perfectly legal, and your information (particularly mail) can't be censored, it is your personal property.
  • 'Speech' also means the right to carry a sign, to put one in your yard, or on your car, or on clothing you wear, because this is a form of expression.
  • You have the freedom to express yourself in art, as well: Song, painting, sculpture, writing, are all ways to express what you feel. Did you know some books have been "banned" in the US in the past? Read more about that in Triogenius, Jan. 5, 2015. How do you feel about censorship?

  • You can give out information you have found, although it depends on where you want to speak or give out information in the form of flyers, for example. If you want to give a speech to a number of people about your beliefs, you can. You can't, however, do this in a space, even if it's public, if there are restrictions as to number of people, etc. One prime example is at a State Fair. There are people who own the land, specifically the state, who can restrict your speaking there. You may not assemble and make speeches on the grounds of a prison, because it is also usually state-owned. You may or may not be allowed to make speeches in a 'public' park, You are required to ask permission and then abide by the findings.

  • Students do not necessarily have the right to speak on school grounds about their issues.
  • While technically, you have the 'right' to say bad things about someone, whether in public, through the mail, or online, there is the question of ethics and how it damages that person in the process. Having the 'right' to say it doesn't mean you should say it.
  • You do, perhaps unfortunately, have the right to burn the American flag in protest.
  •  You do have the right to take photos of people in public places.
  • You do have the right to form a protest and carry signs; however, you need to find a place where it will be allowed and get the necessary permit from the community. Some communities will not allow the use of signs mounted on sticks, in order to avoid possible violence.

  • When protesting, you do not have the right to incite violence (see below). When this happens or seems imminent, law enforcement is allowed to move in and stop the protest.The protest should not infringe the rights of others (such as blocking traffic)
  • Since the Internet is relatively new, discussions about rights online is a developing topic: how much  and what kind of information should we allow to be shared online? How can we regulate that? Should we? Who would decide?
Things you do NOT have the right to do with your Freedom of Speech:
  • Saying or otherwise expressing things that incite or provoke people to violence
  • Saying things that cause a panic in people (the traditional yelling "FIRE" in a theatre)
  • Saying offensive things (this is open to a broad interpretation: What is offensive, and to whom?)

  • Saying things that promote hate/hate crimes. You cannot speak of your hatred of a particular race, for example, when you make a speech.
  • Saying, or collecting, or sharing obscene things-materials such as pictures or videos, especially involving children and vulnerable others
  • Saying things that slander or defame other people
  • Denying anyone else their freedom of speech
  • Bullying behavior whether in person, online, or through your phone
  • You cannot speak on matters that are classified information, are copyrighted, or that reveal trade secrets.
  • Graffiti (sometimes called "Tagging") is damage to someone else's property; it is not simply freedom of expression. You see it frequently on train cars and buildings. Sometimes people will spray paint 'messages' on someone's house or a church. That is vandalism and possibly a hate crime.

For a legal description of this right:

There are countries in the world where freedom speech is not a given right. In Saudi Arabia, for example, if you speak against the religion of Islam, you can be put to death. Iran, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, China, North Korea, and other countries are very restrictive as to this freedom we take for granted here. Read more about it:

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