Freedom of Expression

(under construction - your contributions are welcomed)

Consider the following scenarios:

1. A protest has begun over pollution seemingly caused by a local power textile mill. Tensions escalate in the crowd and they begin moving towards the area of the factory. Local officials fear that the mob will storm the factory causing damage to the mill and danger to themselves. They deploy a police force to break up the protest. Does this violate the right of citizens to assemble?


2. A newspaper refuses to print the repeated editorial submissions of an irate reader, who takes extreme stances on issues and criticizes the newspaper in her letters. The reader claims that the paper is only rejecting her letters because they are critical of the newspaper and that this is a violation of her right to free speech.


3. An Iraqi-American theatre company is scheduled to perform a play. The play is set in Iraq during the Gulf War and criticizes the actions of the U.S. government in this war. FBI officials contact the theatre company and convince them to cancel the production, saying they will thoroughly investigate everyone involved as a suspected terrorist. The Bureau has no information suggesting that anyone involved is actually a terrorist.


4. The KKK is planning a march in a small town. The town refuses to grant a permit to assemble to the group because they believe that such march will almost certainly result in violence between the Klan members and the community.


5. "U.S. Gr. 6 student suspended over blue hair - School says student's hair colour a potential distraction", Toronto Star, Apr. 29, 2002. 09:47 AM.

Are there similar situations that could occur that are more directly related to the computer industry?

Last updated 2002/05/01
© J.A.N. Lee, 2000-2002.