FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXPRESSION: WHAT YOU CAN SAY, PAINT WEAR AND DISPLAY – AND NOT
Monday September 18, 2017
Presented by Brenda Lee Green, ACLU
Monday, Sept. 18th at 7 p.m.
Often claims of American exceptionalism can be exaggerated, but the First Amendment really does make America unique, even within the industrialized democracies. No other country has such stringent protections against government restrictions of free speech and a free press. While the First Amendment was a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights when it was ratified in 1791 the reality is that federal protection of free speech rights are 20th Century provenance. This facilitated discussion will briefly trace the legal history of the First Amendment including the substantial role the ACLU played. From Oliver Wendell Holmes' "shouting fire in a crowded theater" to today's social media saturation, the discussion will explore issues including but not limited to hate speech/groups, Citizens United, Wiki Leaks, the Espionage Act and, of course, obscenity. Brenda Lee Green joined the ACLU as a high school senior and has maintained a three decade relationship with the ACLU of Pennsylvania as a member, volunteer, donor, and board member. Most of her work with the ACLU involves fighting censorship.
Held in Council Chambers.
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