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implications of disrupting gatherings/preventing people from speaking?

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some would say "freedom of speech" is irrelevant because counter protests and disruptions are not the same thing as government censorship and repression

some would say its a slippery slope

some would say its self defense in response to people who are using that speech as a tool to enact an authoritarian nightmare and put people (maybe you or me?) in camps

some would say the constitution only protects speech from the government not to promote a legal view of things but to point out that "freedom of speech" is a right handed down by authorities and similar observations

what do you say?

so essentially, is there a difference between gov censorship and popular censorship? where do you draw the line between dangerous aggression and "just sharing their views", when words and ideas can become physically dangerous so quickly (aren't words actions)? why is it okay to stop someone from acting in a way that is harmful towards you but not speaking is there a difference?
asked Aug 19 by DonnieDarko (890 points)
I asked a similar question a few years ago http://anarchy101.org/11030/free-speech

to me there is a very definite difference between words and action. not that they are unrelated, of course. but you (dd) seem to be equating the two at some level, and i find that problematic. 

why? because words must be contextualized in order to have any chance at understanding what someone means by those words. so much of what i read about the word police (largely a faction of the liberal/progressive left) is a result of those people - cops, of a sort - applying their meaning to someone else's words, which may or may not have anything to do with the way the speaker intended those words. taking individual words and phrases out of context to use for one's political (or other) motives is rampant - by everyone.

actions, on the other hand - while also obviously subject to context - are usually far more tangible in their impact, even if not their intended impact.

if someone is using words i do not like, i can ask them questions about what they are saying to get closer to their intent, or i can leave, or tune them out, or shout above them, or punch them in the face, or whatever. if someone acts in some abusive or oppressive way with me, chances are good that i will not be physically able to have such choices in that moment.

words alone - coming from someone that you do not have a meaningful individual relationship with - should not be able to actually harm anyone. annoy, yes. anger, yes. frustrate, yes. but harm...? nope. that just seems like self-victimization to me.

trying to determine the relationship between words and action in any given context is much more useful to me, than simply equating the two.

in the context of someone using those words to build political power to commit genocide I would definitely have to disagree and say their words definitely have the power to hurt.

"so much of what i read about the word police (largely a faction of the liberal/progressive left) is a result of those people - cops, of a sort - applying their meaning to someone else's words," 

see I am confused here because in the context of stopping white nationalists from speaking, it doesn't seem like assigned meaning, because their words and actions are noticeably similar to other fascists historically. people talking about how white people are being replaced by other races, being xenophobic, and talking about shifting the overton window together sounds like fascists working towards a goal of mass deportations or worse.

you are calling them word police but also saying "if someone is using words i do not like, i can ask them questions about what they are saying to get closer to their intent, or i can leave, or tune them out, or shout above them, or punch them in the face, or whatever. "

this is exactly what they are doing, is disrupting a speaker being "word police" they literally shout over them

im mainly struggling to understand the relationship of the statements "The very fact that the entire discourse occurs within the realm of rights should make anarchists skeptical." and calling people thought police for disrupting white nationalist speakers? doesn't criticizing them for being keeping them from speaking rely entirely on some notion that they have a "right" to speak? if not then what?

i was speaking generally, you are speaking of a very specific situation. i stand by my statement that words themselves can not harm, while actions can. the complexity and nuance is in the relationship between those 2 things.

i don't see autonomous action as being a cop. i do see declaring oneself as the defender of what is good and right for everyone as being a cop (of sorts).

i have no problem with confronting (shouting down, kicking, etc) someone that is saying shit you don't like. when a bunch of other people want to hear what they have to say, and someone prevents that from happening... that starts to border on policing, in my mind.

personally, i find the whole groupthink thing that seems to require these mass gatherings for spreading rhetoric and gaining supporters, to be a huge part of the problem. people are not thinking for themselves, for the most part. "me too", is what the sheeple say.

nothing about this is simple, or even resolvable. i don't claim to have any answers, just thoughts and opinions.

"i do see declaring oneself as the defender of what is good and right for everyone as being a cop (of sorts)."

completely agreed and the people doing these disruptions on universities frequently do see themselves in this way. AntiFa is different to pin down because of how decentralized and diverse (most likely) the people showing up at Nazi gatherings are, but I suspect most of them see themselves less as a moral defender and more of a defender of their locality and in many cases themselves or groups fascists target.

"i have no problem with confronting (shouting down, kicking, etc) someone that is saying shit you don't like. when a bunch of other people want to hear what they have to say, and someone prevents that from happening..."

see this is what I will be turning over in my head all night, anytime someone is saying something there may be people interested in hearing it and others who wish to shout them down. even if that wasn't the case and no one at all wanted to hear what they had to say why would that make it any better to shout them down? I feel like the above kind of says you have no problem shouting them down as long as no one wants to hear what they have to say and if people do then it would be authoritarian or policing to shout them down but why? should popularity really dictate my decision of what ideas to disrupt or to not? that sounds almost like groupthink to me.. like hitler was pretty popular and people wanted to hear what he had to say but I would regard It as anti authoritarian to prevent him from having a rally.

"i find the whole groupthink thing that seems to require these mass gatherings for spreading rhetoric and gaining supporters, to be a huge part of the problem. people are not thinking for themselves, for the most part. "me too", is what the sheeple say."

wym the Nazi gatherings or both sides? and I guess you are saying disrupting the speakers or events doesn't attack the root problem of people rallying under a charismatic leader with "all the answers" or an ideology like white nationalism?

"nothing about this is simple, or even resolvable. i don't claim to have any answers, just thoughts and opinions."

ya sorry if I seem confrontational when im quoting you im not attacking your views or accusing you of being inconsistent or contradicting yourself I was just confused and trying to get a better idea of what you are thinking.

no worries dd, i wasn't feeling attacked at all.

your struggles with this kind of shit seem absolutely appropriate to me. navigating this world is difficult enough for most folks that don't even think about this shit. navigating it as an anti-authoritarian can sometimes feel impossible. it has caused severe depression in me many times.
yea, DD, i second F@'s last post--i think this is a solid quandary, and i appreciate that you're hashing it out.

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