Democratic National Convention to have Free Speech Zone

Gotcha. It must have gone something like this.

Protest Leader: People, let us be reasonable. No controlling legal authority has sequestered us; therefore, let us sequester ourselves voluntarily.

Crowd: […whispering as they tiptoe away…] Let us sequester ourselves voluntarily!

You are incorrect. All four murdered students died in the parking lot as they deserately attempted to escape the shower of bullets from Blanket Hill. Lighted pilasters now surround where each of them fell, and each spot is marked with a bronze plaque. There is more detail in this thread:

Oh, c’mon Lib, who’s kidding who here? Half a friggin’ block? Get real.

You may be right. The OP, though, is about the Democratic National Convention. I do not understand why people condemn it rather half-heartedly and begrudgingly with references to how the other side is worse. One or two have condemned it outright, but others have couched their condemnation inside indignation that the point even would be raised. From my vantage point of trusting neither side, it is a remarkable thing.

You’re a fucking idiot, but then that’s very old news.

What I said, you fucking moron, is that there is nothing in your celebrated link which states that the police ordered the protestors to stay half a block or for that matter any distance away, other than an instruction not to block the doors. You find me the words in the story that show the police put any distance restriction on the protestors other than “don’t block the doorway.” The writer’s use of the word “sequestered,” based on the remainder of the information included in the article, is unsupported.

Which if you were anything other than a lying bag of crap, you would admit.

I invite you yet again to provide a link to information proving that the police put any distance restriction on the Freepers other than that they were not to block the entrance to the store. If you can, post it. If you can’t, then shut the fuck up about it you lying bastard.

I’m an idiot and a lying bastard because I don’t believe that the phrase “were sequestered” means that the protesters sequestered themselves? Well then, I shudder to imagine what that makes you. :smiley:

I think Liberal is deliberately missing the point in order to score phantom points against the Democrats. The difference between the Republican free speech zones, and that of the Democrats, is that the Republicans only apply it toward those critical of the President. Bush supporters have access to areas closer to the President that are denied to protesters. The sequestering of demonstrators at the Democratic convention applies to protestors and supporters alike. Do you not see the difference Lib? Or do you just not want to because it is inconvenient to your politics?

Yes, I do, but I did not realize that that was the case. If it is, then there is indeed a fundamental difference between them.

You must be joking. Favoring one over the other between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party would be like favoring one over the other between oysters and shrimp. Frankly, it is my opinion that all public property ought to be eliminated, and owners of property allowed to decide who may or may not speak there.

I’m gonna have to partially disagree with some of my erstwhile fellow leftists on this one.

Dio, even assuming that you can make the case that a convention like this is a private party rather than a public event, i don’t think it changes the problem associated with free speech zones. For what it’s worth, i believe that protest should be allowed in public places, whether or not the event itself is public or private. For example, the Halliburton annual shareholders meeting is a private event, restricted to shareholders and probably held in the ballroom or conference area of some fancy hotel. I think that people wanting to protest against (or for) Halliburton should be able to do so without being herded into free speech zones.

No-one’s arguing that these protestors should actually be allowed into the Fleet Center to take over the floor and disrupt the proceedings. Presumably, only people with tickets (or passes or whatever) will be allowed into the venue, and that’s fine. But i think that in the public area surrounding the venue protests should be allowed, rather than confining people in some yard blocks away.

Now, of course, this leaves us with a problem of simple feasability. Are we to allow unlimited protests, and thus leave ourselves open to the possibility that big cities will be regularly inconvenienced by large, milling crowds? If not, we then have to decide which protests will be allowed and which will not. And i think that an argument can be made that, whether you want to call it a private party or a public event, the National Convention of our two dominant political parties should be considered “public” enough that demonstration and protest should be allowed in a place close enough to the conventions themselves to actually be seen and heard by the participants.

There is one key discrepancy in this whole scenario, however. If the decision is made to keep rallies and marched away from an event, it should be made without consideration for the opinions of the marchers. If you’re going to keep any marchers away, then you should keep all marchers away.

And it’s here that the Republicans really disgrace themselves. At many of Bush’s events over the past few years, some large crowds of yelling people with signs have been allowed to get close to the president, while other large crowds of yelling people with signs have been herded into “free speech zones.” The only difference between the groups has been the content of their signs and of their chants. Pro-Bush signs and chants = fine. Anti-Bush signs and chants = bad. As a recent example, discussed on this Board, shows, it’s even unacceptable to wear an anti-Bush t-shirt to an event to which you actually have a ticket.

While i might disagree with the use of a “free speech zone” at the DNC, if it is used in such a manner as to prevent all marches and rallies, rather than simply those the Democrats don’t want to see, then it is orders of magnitude less problematic than Bush’s “free speech zones.”

Not a particularly good example. The least law-abiding, most riotous people in Chicago in '68 were the law enforcement officers who beat the crap out of largely peaceful crowds.

Maybe if they had a big screen placed near the entrance, permanently wired to a ProtestCam[sup]TM[/sup]…

Kudos on your analysis, mhendo. You’re spot on, at least from my vantage point. I’ll merely cherry-pick this bit to reiterate my comments above about feasibility: It isn’t feasible to have free-range protestors any closer to the FleetCenter than the current plan, other than in partial batches. Which then raises the issue of who decides which segments of the massed throngs will be allowed onto the street in front of the building itself, rather than held back to the protest zone – which is, by the way, visible and doubtless audible from the entrance at one end of the FleetCenter. Mind you, I expect the entrance used by delegates, media, etc., is likely to be the one at the other end of the building.

Oh, one other point that may not be obvious to anyone unfamiliar with the FleetCenter: those inside the building would be unaware of anything going on outside even if the protesters were able to mass right in front of the building. That’s because the structure facing the street is a blank wall. The ends where the entrances are are also windowless, and the equally blank-walled rear faces over a railroad yard where passenger trains arrive.

It really is a crappy location, and I suspect the choice was locked in before the people in charge started thinking past the glory to all the downsides and difficulties of that venue.

Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if they very consciously chose to hold the convention at a venue that was not amenable to outside noise or to large protests.

I definitely think that’s part of their thought process, given the hoops they hope to set up under the plausible guise of safety and preventing terrorist attacks.

I really don’t want to go to work these days, as I work at just such a chokepoint. (93/95 intersection in Woburn.) Blech. While I’m sure a mass of politicians would make a tasty attack point, this is basically shutting down the city as far as I can tell. They’ve shut down North Station, which is right next door, so there’s no unchecked access to the area. I applaud their desire to secure the convention. I question the methods they’ve chose, and I have no doubt that they’ve picked a site that is difficult to protest on purpose.

No, you’re an idiot and a lying bastard because you’ve repeatedly made claims that are unsupported by your own cite. There is nothing in your cite which indicates that the police imposed a half-block distance restriction on the Freepers. There is nothing in your cite which indicates the police imnposed any restriction on the Freepers beyond “don’t block the door.”

Find me the words in your article which show the police imposed a half-block distance on the protestors.

Find me any story about the book signing which shows the police imposed a half-block distance on the protestors.

The writer either made a poor choice of the phrase “were sequestered” because of the confusion it could create in people as stupid as you, or he chose the words deliberately to incite a false sense of outrage in people as gullible as you.

As a Democrat I feel comfortable saying that I think that the DNC should have actually taken into consideration the need to provide space for peaceful protestors of divergent opinions. It would indeed have made a nice contrast to what I have seen in recent years. There are even conservative protestors who protest protestors! (I haven’t quite wrapped my mind around that one since I have never protested a protest. I tend to agree with the ACLU on the issue.)

Lib, although your OP was about the DNC, you yourself were discussing other situations such as a booksigning and I have inferred from the posts of others that some think that the idea of “assignment zones” comes from local police. There is evidence that although that may be true for the DNC, it is not always true for the POTUS.

Is keeping the protestors at a distance really the idea of local police? The BBC and the Mayor of London had a different take on it when Bush went to London last November:

If the SS tried to control the citizens of London, imagine what control over our freedoms they unnecessarily use here.

T-shirts and signs are non-violent means of addressing grievances. That’s one of those good old American traditions that should be encouraged by both candidates – unless you want to fool the people.

But then I’m from Tennessee. Here in Tennessee we have a saying. (I know it’s a saying in Texas.) Fool me once…

Is this a “classically liberal” position, or can we go back to calling you Libertarian now?

It is indeed a classical liberal position to defend the rights of individuals, including those who own property. The seizure of property is a tyranny whether the thug calls himself Son of Sam or Senator Sam. Now, your choice to isolate that particular passage rather than the conciliatory admission that we might have found common ground is, I believe, the classically jackass position.

That’s not what you said though. You did not defend the rights of all individuals, only those who own property. I disagree with your definition of classic liberalism as an oligarchy of proprty owners. Tyranny is tyranny, even when you dress it up as “individual rights”.

Nonsense. All people own property. They are born as owners of their bodies and minds. I would remind you that freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought, inter alia, were originally proposed by classical liberals.

But you seem to mean ‘land’ when you use therm 'property in this instance. Seemingly, this means those who own the land control the speech.

Or am I missing something?