Free speech doesn't extend to violence, disorder.

Free speech doesn't extend to violence, disorder.

October 28th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

There may be lots of things in society that we object to. And our Constitution rightly guarantees the freedom to speak up publicly about them, and to seek a "redress of grievances."

We have -- and treasure -- our freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right "peaceably to assemble."

But for obvious reasons, we do not have the right to be disorderly and even violent in promoting our views.

We were reminded of that again this week during "Occupy Wall Street" protests around the country. More than a hundred people were arrested in Oakland, Calif. Police there were struck with rocks, bottles and other items. Meanwhile, scores were arrested in Atlanta. One of the Atlanta protesters even walked through a park with an AK-47 assault rifle, according to Mayor Kasim Reed.

Constitutional liberties are precious and deserve to be protected vigorously. But those freedoms should offer no protection to demonstrators who engage in mob action or create threats to public safety.

Speak up freely! Let your voice be heard!

But don't do it in a way that endangers others, or public order.