Public Comment

Free Speech for ALL?

Gene Bernardi, SuperBOLD (Berkeleyans Organizing for Liberty Defense)
Sunday November 26, 2017 - 04:23:00 PM

Chemerinsky, Dean of UCB Law School, as well as Chancellor Carol Christ, have violated Dean Chemerinsky’s admonishment that, as said by Oliver Wendell Holmes, the best remedy for the speech that we don’t like is more speech. 

Instead of “more speech”, a very unbalanced array of speakers was accommodated this Fall semester during which a so-called “Free Speech Week” took place. Dean Chemerinksy made possible, by waiving an eight week notice requirement, for the use of Boalt Hall’s Booth Auditorium for speaker Alan Dershowitz who believes Black Lives Matter is “an anti-Semitic group” that is “endangering the fairness of our legal system”. 

Chancellor Christ paid $9,000 rent for Zellerbach Auditorium making possible an elegant platform for far right speaker Ben Shapiro. In contrast to this mollycoddling, in preparation for “Free Speech Week” the department of anthropology was asked to change the date of their already scheduled (Sept. 25) annual event at which they host a distinguished speaker. The Anthropology Department faculty and students felt their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble and hear a speaker was being violated. 

Furthermore the U.C. Administration took actions repressive of the “more free speech” Chemerinsky advocates for countering far right hate speech, when it issued an edict forbidding counter protesters to meet on the public UCB’s Oxford Street Crescent Lawn where it had been announced to take place. This was an August 27th protest against the alt-right group expected that day at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. 

Again, on September 24th, counter protesters were denied access to peacefully assemble and speak out in counter to hate speech monger Milo Yiannopolous by barricades placed yards from, and preventing access to, the Home of the Free Speech Movement, the Sproul Hall steps, where Yiannopolous spoke.