Thursday, April 19, 2007

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: BYU shuts down free speech.

Welcome to BYU's "Free Speech Zone": Open 11am-1pm.

If you're not caught up on the controversy, read these links first:

CHENEY POSTS: #1 #2 #3 #4

Ok, so we're shooting a documentary about all this BYU/Dick Cheney craziness and I went through and edited together a 4 minute piece last night. It shows BYU security shutting down the "free speech zone" and then has BYU President Cecil Samuelson basically telling a protesting student to "go fuck yourself":

If the video is loading slow,

For those of you who have problems with quicktime,

BYU Security Stooges shut down the protest and threaten students.

If you don't know already, this film is actually forming up to be a follow-up film to THIS DIVIDED STATE.


theorris said...

So Mr. Mac is intimidation's new suit maker, eh?

Matthew said...

Yeah, I was there, it was pretty ridiculous. If you got out early, you were fine, but if you stayed around until 1, they were confiscating everything, it was pretty messed up.

Redleg, Ph.D. said...

As a former long-time resident of Utah, I am heartened that there are BYU students who do have the guts to speak up about the failed and immoral leadership of our country by Bush and Cheney. Utah is still among the reddest of the red states but there is certainly a growing movement away from the one-party system that has afflicted the state for so many years. Kudos to the students and to this website.

TlalocW said...

I applaud your efforts in bringing free speech to BYU and for protesting against Cheney, but why would you want to have Ralph Nader at your separate graduation ceremony? The man is just as responsible for putting Bush in the White House as is any malfeasance perpetrated by the Bush campaign. He ran claiming there was no difference between Gore and Bush - looking at all Bush has done to destroy America, I can't believe he would actually say that, but as far as I know, he's never recanted or apologized for that statement. Nader deserves no more respect from you than Cheney does.

donviti said...

who is Dick Cheney?

HumboldtBlue said...

So let's get this straight: Ralph Nader is responsible for Al Gore's horribly run campaign; Nader is responsible for the Florida recount debacle, and now he's responsible for the despicable actions of the Bush administration?

At least Nader has the honor of being a man of his convictions, a man who has the honor of standing by the principles he has espoused for 30 years.

Tell me, do Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch feed at the same trough of big-money donors? How about Hillary Clinton? How about Gore?

That was Nader's point, that the difference between Democrats and Republicans within the beltway is one of name only. By sticking to the specious and intellectually dishonest premise that Nader cost Gore the WH, you and your ilk propagate the notion that somehow the Democratic leaders who voted for the Patriot Act, who voted for to allow Bush his personal war and all the add-ons since it began are just the victims of a man who received 5-percent of the vote.

What hogwash.

An Alternative Voice said...

I suppose you refer to yourselves as journalists. Any particular color you would like to associate your journalism with? Perhaps yellow?

Try not to be shocked, amazed, appalled, etc., that a PRIVATE university is going to restrict how its property is used. That is RIGHT of private ownership.

Sometimes rights conflict, but the right to govern how your private property is used is not necessarily trumped by an individuals right to say whatever he or she wants.

Anonymous said...

To the Nader supporters: All you need to be able to do to understand the frustration of those who blame Nader for Bushco is - count.

Kevin said...

Come on, your parents and their parents died in world wars and their parents died in revolutionary wars and the civil war to protect freedom and create a democracy.


You were intimidated to have your personal propoerty stolen from you, confiscated from you? You don't speak except when allowed. I have to point out that policies like this have resulted in the killing of almost 1 million people in the Iraq occupation. The policy of preventing the questioning of authority, the habit of obeying, is what allowed the illegal, cruel and disastrous occupation of Iraq to happen in thie first place.

Under what laws does this happen, how and where were these people trained to be so cowering? When did Americans become craven? Yep john Wayne would be proud, and this is why we landed at Normandy.

I'm just sick.

Stand up.

There is only one way for those involved to get their spirit back. They must dedicate their lives to free speech and the questioning of authority.

Fight back harder tommorow, learn about resistance, read Ghandi and King. Don't ever stop, you will be proud and freedom will be rescued.

It might be hard to hear but here is the truth. For freedom and rights ~~ every victory is temporary, every defeat is permanent. Vigilance means sacrifice - your parents offered up themselves, stay peaceful, but get and stay active.

HumboldtBlue said...

Oh, and if you're interested in free speech on campuses throughout the nation, there is no better resource than the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, also known as FIRE.

BYU is certainly not the first university to stifle the speech of its students and you can be certain it won't be the last.

Check'em out.

Anonymous said...

Try not to be shocked, amazed, appalled, etc., that a PRIVATE university is going to restrict how its property is used. That is RIGHT of private ownership.

HOWEVER, if you hold the area out as a "public forum" for people to use (as BYU did), their private property interest must not unnecessarily infringe upon the First Amendment rights of those who use it.

Now had BYU said "No, you cannot use OUR PROPERTY to hold a demonstration," then they would have a more solid argument.

An Alternative Voice said...

You say tomayto, I say tomahto.

I would say that BYU granted the right for students to use their property after a rigorous application and approval process was completed by the "demonstrators." Additionally, there were conditions on the size of the area used, how it could be used (no shouting, etc.), and the length of time they could use it.

Regardless of the actual words used, the substance is clear. The university exercised its right to restrict the use of its private property.

Stus said...

It's phenomenal -- great start to a new doc. I'll be very curious to see how this all works itself out.

I've always been curious about the history of the Church of LDS from the 19th Century "Burnt-Over Region" of upstate New York, to the Midwestern time of troubles and the settlement in Utah, down to today. I'm from New York originally, and we usually didn't encounter Mormons in the wild, but live in Seattle now where there's a much more substantial Mormon community.

It's interesting to see the reactions of the BYU admin and general population to the appearance of any discord -- after experience of other universities, it's odd to see such intellectual clamp-down on such a meek and mild demonstration.

But then, the Berkeley protests also resulted in the beginning from relatively and buttoned-down response to minor free speech issues.

Stus said...

I hear, tho, that the "pro-Cheney" counter-protest had chocolate cake! That's a mighty powerful and seductive political tool.

Anonymous said...

The school did exercise its private property rights but that one student asked the key question - what is the school afraid of? And, what is the school hoping to teach students about the country they will soon lead? That our democracy is window dressing? That it is unacceptable to disagee with elected leadership? That dissent is treasonous?

Exactly what was this institution of higher learning trying to say through its exercise of its private property rights? It certainly wasn't trying to say anything that was remotely American.

HumboldtBlue said...

"To the Nader supporters: All you need to be able to do to understand the frustration of those who blame Nader for Bushco is - count."

As someone who voted for Gore ... You mean count the number of votes by which Gore lost his home state?

That count?

Or is it Count Chocula?

Speaking of counting, and to yet again pop that 8th-grade logic balloon you trotted out ... Did Hillary vote for the Patriot Act? Kerry? How about Feinsteinn and Boxer?

And yet, somehow Nader, again, a man of principle and abject honesty, takes the blame. What cowardice, what mealy-mouthed pseudo-intellectual tripe.

Gore blew his chance, not because of Nader, or Donald Duck, or that crackhead featured on the Daily Show, but because he couldn't win his home state.

Now save your frustrations (or grab skin mag and shake them out) for the men and women who abandoned the Democratic Party and allowed the criminals in the Bush administration to run wild for the last six years.

An Alternative Voice said...

If you can show how the university has been inconsistent in its policies regarding the use of their property for ANY sort of political rally or demonstration, then you can begin to assert the BYU was "afraid of" something, as the student in the clip did.

The response was clear: that the university is not afraid of anything. The fact they even approved the protest, or rally, or whatever you choose to call it, shows that. Perhaps if they had prevented it from ever happening, that might show a fear.

What is so difficult to understand about trying to maintain a consitstency in following rules & guidelines?

Anonymous said...

An Alternative Voice said... Try not to be shocked, amazed, appalled, etc., that a PRIVATE university is going to restrict how its property is used. That is RIGHT of private ownership.

Well, it may be their right as a PRIVATE university. But as a faculty member at a private university, I think the noun part is more important. When an institution decides it wants to be more "PRIVATE" than "UNIVERSITY" it speaks loud and clear about what kind of institution it is. It declares itself committed not to intellectual discourse but to carefully-managed exposure to pre-selected propaganda. It can continue to call itself a university on the basis of offering classes and having a certain management structure. But it destroys its claim to be a center of intellectual vigor.

HumboldtBlue said...

"It can continue to call itself a university on the basis of offering classes and having a certain management structure. But it destroys its claim to be a center of intellectual vigor."

That pretty much sums up the state of this nation's university system. If it's not BYU, it Cal State Northridge, or Chico state, or any other of the thousands of universities who have used the cult of victimology to enact "speech codes" all across this land.

When did the fear of being insulted, of having your feelings hurt become the standard for squelching free speech?

An Alternative Voice said...

What I don't understand is why obedience or adherence to an established set of guidelines is de facto not "intellectual." Rather such obedience is viewed as a complete lack of intellect, particularly when it is obedience to a standard or policy that seems to interfere with a liberal agenda.

Then it is presented as being contrary to freedom of speech.

Anonymous said...

since when does free speech have a time limit? what a crock of shit and our soldiers are dying for wha??? again? for someone elses goddamned freedom? WAKE UP SHEEPLE

Anonymous said...

At least Nader has the honor of being a man of his convictions, a man who has the honor of standing by the principles he has espoused for 30 years.

no, not really. A man of principles when running for president of the US would start a campaign like everyone else that runs, not decide at the last minute that he wants to run for president, no what he is doing is fucking up the votes for DEMS period, end of story. just makes me wonder how much the payoff is for him. he is worthless, his time has come and gone he is a fraud. wanna run for pres? do it like ya mean it asshat

thepoetryman said...

BYU stand've many a friend out here...

SJNelson said...

I hope to see Nader there- good luck BYU.

Adam H. Berkowitz said...

I can't wait for David Horowitz' academic freedom crusade to back this as voraciously as he did the columbia/minutemen protests.

Mahkno said...

Sounds like a good case to transfer out of BYU or not go there at all.

Dean said...

BYU did pretty much what I expected they would do.
You can have your free speech when you don't make it inconvenient for "The Man". If you DON'T agree with the man you get a "free speech zone"(what a contradiction in terms)-for 2 hours. But you'd better be polite you dirty hippies, and NO SHOUTING!
Fuck the BYU administration fascists(No I don't use that term lightly)! Also Fuck St. Ralph Nader.
Will the RNC be funding him this year also?
I'll never vote the SOB, or the Green party either for giving us the SOB. Nader used to be a man of some substance. Let's see forty some years ago. Now he's dinosaur and a whore for the Rightwing. You know, the BYU administration and their ilk.

Vic Hitler said...

I hope anyone considering BYU will take this seriously enough to NOT.

E in MD said...

Unfortunately for BYU students you made a choice one way or another to attend that university. It is a private concern and thus they can manage speech on their property any way they want. Including putting up a razor wire fence around a two foot by two foot 'free speech zone' and populating the area around it with dogs. Just like you cannot come into my house and start cursing at me unless I authorize you to, you can't go onto private property and violate the rules of conduct the people who own the property has set.

However, this does not give them the ability to take your property ( the signs ) away from you any more than it would give them the ability to take your wallets, your shoes or your Ipod. You still retain your property rights.

With the exception of their acts of theft, the university is perfectly within their legal rights to restrict students rights to free expression because you are under no obligation to remain on the campus or attend the school. In other words, if you don't like it pick a school that won't restrict you as much or attend a public university.

As far as these right wing assholes going on about how wrong it is to not agree with a system of oppression. You would not have the right to sit there and blather on about the evil liberals if it weren't for people who wouldn't stay silent when people tried to limit them. I doubt very much that if the Clinton administration had screwed up as many things in this country as the Bush administration that you Republican types would be sitting around silently like good little citizens while Bill Clinton's thugs put you in a taped off area and told you you were not allowed to speak outside the free speech zone. Keep that in mind because every thing your boy Bush has done to destroy the rights we all hold dear will still be in play when some other President takes office. Would you be so willing to support your loss of habeas corpus if it were Hillary Clinton holding the reigns of government? Or if John Edwards demanded the ability to read your mail or bug your house? Or if Ralph Nader demanded the right to put your life under a microscope all in the interest of national security? No.

The Republican party will pay for the damage they have done to our democracy. They will pay for it in the very seats they will be voted out of. If the United States has any sense not another new Republican will be elected to office for the next generation or so - and we will be better off for it.

Comrade Rutherford said...

I completely agree. The US Constitution must be suspended on Private Property. Constitutional rights have no place on PRIVATE property.

There is no right to speak, to practice your own religion, to read a newspaper, etc, anywhere on PRIVATE property.

Likewise, carrying a firearm onto PRIVATE property is also clearly illegal, as the Consitution has no validity on PRIVATE property.

Universities, then have every right to search you at any time, and to force you to bunk their security force in your room, too.

And since the US Constitution has no validity on PRIVATE property, any laws that spring from said Constitution are also null anf void.

Therefore any student can kill any other student or any faculty or security guard, can commit murder without facing punishment because the US COnsitution and the laws derived therefrom can NOT be applied to PRIVATE property.

Man, right-wingers are so dumb...

dug said...

to all you chuckleheads who still believe their is a difference between republicans and democrats: two things. 1. Kerry was propelled to the nomination by the 'record turnout' in New Hampshire, etc. to erase Dean's credibility. Then he and fellow bonesman Bush put on another charade that Americans were scared into voting in instead of demanding a choice in candidates.
2. Who would be a more odious vice president? Cheney or Lieberman?

Washed-up 4th grader said...

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

- 19th-century Danish Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard

The circus around 'freedom of speach' shouldn't be an issue. Just shut-up and stop whining. At the same time, the fact that such an immoral tyrant is coming to speak on behalf of an LDS-funded school is appalling. It shouldn't be about Democrats and Republicans because if you're that loyal to either side, then your that stupid.

So why the hell is Michael Moore a god on here? There is a documentary coming out by those who originally supported him. While doing the documentary they learned how hypocritical and unethical he really is. Most of the left, including the majority of Hollywood, hate him just as the Rebublicans. Praising him on here is just as bad as praising Dick Cheney.

Congratulation by the way on getting Ralph Nader to come speak. While I don't consider this a partisan issue but rather an ethical one, I think Nader is a solid choice since he's independent and because he's actually

Sven Ericsson said...

Hey. Just a quick comment from your everyday swedish guy.

It's scary to think that free speach is not allowed at a campus in the US. Home of the free (!?) land of the whatever. Students, teachers, everyone should have the right say what they please.

"I hate your opinions but I'm prepared to die to defend your right to present them!" - Voltaire

It's called democracy....

Stand up for your rights!