France’s Hollande defends freedom of speech after anti-Hebdo clashes abroad

Muslim women in France

University students hold placards during a demonstration against satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad as the cover of its first edition since an attack by Islamist gunmen, in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, January 17, 2015. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

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Phil Robertson Reinstated to Duck Dynasty Cast by A&E

After a nine day suspension for his remarks on African Americans and homosexuality, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular series “Duck Dynasty,” was reinstated by A&E on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (Photo: Duck Dynasty Facebook)

Following Huge Backlash, Filming Will Continue Spring 2014

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Desperate MSM Moves to Kill Off Article Comments

New wave of online censorship as establishment panics about losing ability to dictate reality

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
September 27, 2013

Desperate to cling onto their ability to dictate reality, the crumbling mainstream media is beginning to kill off article comment sections in a cynical bid to silence dissenting voices.

Studies confirm that article comment sections – for better or worse – are heavily swaying public opinion. How many times have you read a mainstream news article about NSA spying, drones, gun control or any other other hot button issue where the author sides with the establishment, only to have their argument completely eviscerated by a deluge of irate respondents in the comment section?

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Which Shall It Be, Freedom of Speech or Not?

SOURCE

Michael S. Rozeff
lewrockwell.com
August 10, 2013

wantyouCan a man speak freely in America without any fear of punishment or can he not? He cannot. Has the U.S. government concocted free speech “crimes” in order to suppress free speech? It has. Is the U.S. government investigating free speech activities with the notion that they may be terroristic? It is.

Being pro-liberty, I am pro-free speech. I think that liberty and being able to speak freely are part of what being a human being means. In addition, I think that free speech enhances human life. Favoring the human being, human life and its development, I favor free speech. This does not mean that I like or approve of everything that anyone says. I don’t, most assuredly. It doesn’t mean that groups of people may not voluntarily suppress free speech among themselves. Favoring free speech implies that I do not believe in forcibly curtailing speech.

If we wish, we can discuss free speech without reference to the U.S. constitution. The idea of free speech doesn’t depend on a constitution, but because the government is suppressing free speech and claiming that it is doing so legally, I am going to discuss some specific court cases that reference the Constitution.

Being pro-liberty, I am not in favor of a system that centralizes law-making in one man or a few men as the U.S. system under the Constitution does. What if they make bad laws? What if the system provides no effective means to alter those laws? What if the system actively suppresses and undermines the available means to alter those laws? What if great distress has to be endured for many years before laws are altered?

But in this article, I postpone speaking with my Spoonerite anti-Constitution hat on until the end. I mainly wish to explore how it is that the Supreme Court is undermining free speech under the cover of its claim to be the final arbiter of what U.S. law says. However, implicitly I am raising the question of what good a Constitution is under which rights written down in black and white can be effectively destroyed by the Supreme Court.

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Egypt Approves New Controversial Protest Law

Egypt’s cabinet approves a new draft law regulating public demonstrations that is slammed by rights groups as restrictive.

  

Anti-Morsi protester throws a tear gas canister

Anti-Morsi protester throws a tear gas canister
Reuters

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Egypt’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a new draft law regulating public demonstrations that was swiftly slammed by rights groups as restrictive, AFP reports.

The law, which needs the ratificationof the upper house of parliament, was created “to ensure the peaceful nature of demonstrations,” Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki told reporters.

The law aims “to protect the right (to demonstrate) and prevents mixing peaceful protests, which the state vows to protect, and attacks on people and property as well as disrupting public order,” he said, according to AFP.

The text stipulates that organizers must inform authorities of plans to protest in advance and the interior ministry has the right to reject a demonstration.

Protests will be restricted to a specific location in each province to be decided by the governor, according to the official MENA news agency.

The law also prohibits the setting up of platforms for speakers and the use of tents during sit-ins, as well as the carrying of banners or the chanting of slogans deemed defamatory or insulting to religion or state institutions.

The draft law was criticized as restrictive by rights groups.

It “imposes restrictions on the right to demonstration” and “violates all principles of freedom of expression,” charged Ahmed Ezzat, who heads the legal unit at the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression.

“The role of the interior ministry goes beyond securing the event to interference in the subject of the event and its organization,” he said in a statement quoted by AFP.

Egypt’s revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak two years ago was largely driven by demands to end the longtime dictator’s police state.

Activists have repeatedly called for a reform of the interior ministry but the draft law, if approved, is likely to spark further tensions between police and protesters.

Egypt has witnessed violence, insecurity and price hikes, fuelling political turmoil already plaguing the country.

Protests between police and protesters, who accuse Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of betraying the revolution that brought him to power, have often turned violent and sometimes deadly.

On Monday Egyptian police fired tear gas and water cannons at stone-throwing protesters outside the presidential palace as the opposition rallied to mark the second anniversary of Mubarak’s overthrow.

The clashes broke out after several hundred protesters marched to the palace, the site of increasingly frequent clashes.

A wave of deadly clashes swept Suez Canal cities around January 25, the anniversary of the start of the anti-Mubarak uprising, in which dozens of protesters were killed, prompting Morsi to call in the military.

Two years ago, Egyptians had poured onto the streets to celebrate after an aide to Mubarak announced the veteran president’s resignation, buoyant that democratic change was within reach.

However, two years later many are angry the main goals of freedom and social justice have not been achieved and that Egypt is polarized between Morsi’s mainly Islamist supporters and a broad opposition.

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