Citizens aren't parasites or background noise (August 13 2012) Citizens aren’t parasites or background noise (August 13 2012)

Dahlia Lithwick the 37 year old Canadian-American editor and legal correspondent has published an article on Slate titled ‘Don’t Even Consider Talking About the Olympics’ in which she discusses the suppression of free speech at U.S. political conventions and at the London Olympic Games. Lithwick states “Remember back when large public events were also the locus of large public protest? As we stare down the barrel of the Olympic Games and the two national political conventions this summer, it’s fair to say that free speech has been reduced to a mere wheeze, both in the United Kingdom and here in the USA. What are truly interesting are the differences between the two: The British are buying up free speech and the Americans are zoning it out. The mania for treating convention protesters like veal is not a new thing. Protesters have been herded into hilariously named “free speech zones” and penned behind fences since the 2004 DNC convention in Boston. …the London Olympics, where—aside from the usual clamping down on protest or even potential protest—we’re see[n] unprecedented restrictions on speech having anything to do with the Olympics. There are creepy new restrictions on journalists, with even nonsportswriters being told they should sign up with authorities. …But these events must be more than just clean staging areas for corporate fabulosity. Protesters, participants, and citizens aren’t parasites or background noise. Addressing threats of terror or real violence is one thing. Treating all speech and protest and media as inherently dangerous and violent is something entirely different.”


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