Download Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus by Donald Alexander Downs PDF

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By Donald Alexander Downs

This booklet offers with the decline of admire at no cost speech, educational freedom, and civil liberty that has swept larger schooling in the US during the last decade and a part and with what has to be performed to opposite this pattern. Drawing on own event in addition to learn, Downs analyzes the origins and improvement of the matter, and indicates how political association of scholars and college can result in confident switch. He offers 4 case reviews that illustrate this thesis.

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In addition, Berkeley remains a hotbed of student activism. The Sproul Plaza area – the epicenter of the free speech movement – is a veritable bazaar, presenting an astonishing and intriguing array of student groups promoting their political views and wares, including, to name but a few, the Berkeley ACLU; College Democrats; College Republicans; the International Socialist Organization; the Muslim Student Association; various Asian student groups; students against the war on terrorism (Stop the War); students in favor of the war on terrorism (Pro-America); antisweatshop activists; pro-life and pro-choice groups; students advocating affirmative action based on race (highlighted by BAMN, for “By Any Means Necessary”); groups representing various philosophical, political, and religious orientations.

In exposing the new policy in October 2000, the Wall Street Journal (acting in conjunction with FIRE) editorialized about “silenced faculty” and opined that “The short shrift given due process at one of the nation’s most distinguished universities gave rise to no objections from the Columbia faculty, with but one or two exceptions. . ”34 I found in my research that the movement toward the policy was remarkably one-sided. Virtually no dissenting voices were heard on any university committee established to deal with the policy, nor did any such voice speak out in the broader political arena.

Led by our new chancellor, Donna Shalala, the university assumed the mantle of national leadership in the pro–speech code movement. But events later caused me and others to change our minds about the wisdom of such policies and to question the university’s course. I was hired at Wisconsin in 1985 largely on the basis of my first book, Nazis in Skokie, which dealt with the famous Skokie free speech controversy of 1977–78, a case that still echoes in the lore of constitutional law and politics. I maintained that the courts erred in extending First Amendment protection to a Nazi group (the National Socialist Party of America) to hold a rally in Skokie, Illinois, the home of several hundred Holocaust survivors.

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