A freshman at Alabama puts together a big group to make a video on the quad — no big deal, right?
Wrong. Oh so wrong. Campus PD found out about the gathering and showed up, barring it from happening and ticketing the student that organized it. Then they told him not to go to the press or they would do…something? I’m not sure. Probably just an empty threat, right? Campus PD can’t be dumb enough to actively attempt to intimidate someone and stifle their right to Freedom of Speech. This is America, isn’t it?
“They told me not to talk to the press,” Nojan Radfar, a freshman who organized the event, said. “As of right now, I just have a ticket, but I’m worried I could be expelled.”
Glad the local police are putting those criminology degrees to good use and intimidating people for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.
The Alabama policy, according to the article, is 14 days in advance for amplified sound permits (counting weekends) and 10 days for a gathering permit. Want to protest a recent university decision? Eh, fuck you. Wait two weeks. Outdoor campus forum? Suck a dick, get a permit. This isn’t just the University of Alabama, either. According to a press release cited in the article, SUNY Maritime (not a military school) banned students from making Gangnam Style parodies or other videos that might “embarrass the school” on their own time.
I don’t know about you, but if my school tried that, I would come up with the most embarrassing video idea possible, get like 20 people together, and film the whole thing in Testudo costumes, to the university fight song. This is America, and the best thing about it is our ability to generally say and do what we want, so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. I don’t want to live in an America where “embarrassing your school,” as defined by administrators, is a punishable offense. Hell, in that world, my twitter account is a capital crime.
[via Huffington Post]