The Joke that is Congressional Inquiry ...
Obama's people gather at the mall ...

Free Speech: It's your call ...

Keeping a watch on liberty …

As much as I think Lyndon LaRouche, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell and Alex Jones are self-serving and self-promoting neo-nutters, free speech and the right to protest is a fundamental right.

I leave it up to you to decide where the line between peaceful protest and the actions of the security staff intersect.

Alaska State Fair …

Officials: Treatment of Protester OK …

As reported by the Anchorage Daily News …

“Alaska State Fair officials have reviewed an Aug. 26 incident in which a man waving a sign clashed with security guards and was forced to the ground, and say the guards acted appropriately.”

“The sign waver, Sidney Hill, 52, was arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.”

“Fair managers released a statement Friday saying that the fairgrounds are private property and the Alaska State Fair has a right to regulate conduct on the property. Hill violated Alaska State Fair policy by demonstrating in a plaza rather than a booth and by disrupting other people, a fair spokesman said.”

“He was waving his sign, being loud and interfering with a show taking place nearby, and interfering with people's ability to hear the show, the fair management's statement said.”

“During the course of the incident, security personnel also discovered that Hill had a gun, another violation of fair policy, according to the fair management statement.”

Fair marketing director Dean Phipps says the fair has an unwritten policy against people campaigning in common areas of the fairgrounds.

If people want to deliver a political message -- on abortion or Pebble Mine, for example -- they're expected to rent a booth and follow vendor guidelines, he said.

As for the security guards? Did they go too far?

Phipps defended the use of force seen in the clip.

“The initial attempt was to educate him and let him know what the rules were, and he became belligerent. They felt that they were assaulted ... and then responded to that.” <Source>

Questions …

  • Is the Alaska State Fair sponsored by the government or use public money?
  • Is the Alaska State Fair a public venue?
  • Is this man a “plant” designed to be offensive enough to generate media attention?
  • Was the problem exacerbated by the private security guards who should have notified the appropriate authorities before taking action?
  • Are all other protesters treated the same way?
  • Are open and concealed carry weapons legal in Alaska?

Bottom line …

Whether or not you agree with the behavior of the protestor or the content of his message, it is important for all Americans to monitor official rebukes of what may appear to be free political speech rights and to comment when necessary. Unless we continue to exercise our free speech rights, the government, be they local, state or federal, will begin to think that these rights are greatly diminished and that they can suppress messages with which they do not agree.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884)

Whether the protestor was within his rights to do what he did is secondary to our discussion about our free speech rights and encroaching government tyranny.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Security guards' handling of protest OK, fair officials say|Anchorage Daily News

Regarding the incident on the Alaska State Fair Fairgrounds 26 August 2010|Alaska State Fair

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