“This theater is on fire!”

Illegal or First Amendment territory?

If you’ve ever questioned the extent of your rights and realized that there’s a whole lot of iffy out there, then Berkeley’s co-ed, pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) is here for you.

This Tuesday, March 16, PAD is hosting an informational meeting focused on, as they say, “The Line Between Freedom of Speech and Illegal Activity.” Starting at 7 pm, you can come to the California Room in Hotel Durant and ask any pertinent questions you might have.

Speakers ranging from the UCPD Chief of Police to esteemed Berkeley professors of law and public policy will be sitting as a panel, ready to hash out all the details. Talk about the sit-ins, ask about March 4—as long as it’s about free speech, it’s fair game.

And did we mention that it’s free?

Image Source: hartboy under Creative Commons
The Limits of Protest [Facebook]

6994157_7911cd4d86_mFour protesters currently on trial in federal court are facing charges of terrorizing researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. According to the filing, these four were members of a group of activists who went to the researchers’ homes in Berkeley, Santa Cruz, El Cerrito and Oakland, donned masks and stood outside chanting, among other phrases, “you’re a murderer” for hours at a time.

The defendants maintain the legality of their actions, insisting that their First Amendment rights are being violated under a new statute that cites their behavior as terrorism. Their brand of “activism” included disseminating flyers that held the researchers’ personal information as well as the caption: “Animal abusers everywhere beware we know where you live.” A few days later, two of the researchers’ homes were firebombed, incidents that are still being investigated.

Um … we hate the idea of animal abuse as much as the next hippie. But there’s a line, and it would seem that this fantastic foursome might have placed a toe or two on the other side. Free speech can only be stretched so far.

Image Source: kool_skatkat under Creative Commons
Free speech or animal-rights terrorism? [SFGate]
Earlier: Never Die