Freedom of Speech Main Topic Out And About

This Saturday we stand for liberation

We are horrified and saddened by the attacks on nonviolent protesters in Charlottesville. The videos of white supremacist marchers attacking protesters who engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience or beat innocent protesters are horrible and show how bankrupt their ideas are. James Alex Fields Jr.’s car attack on peaceful protesters which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer and the injury of over 19 others is particularly appalling.

We stand with those who oppose white supremacy.

Pirates believe that we are stronger as a country when everyone is liberated to be the best person they can be. Pirates support the struggle for justice for people of color, feminism and the LGBTQ+ community. Diversity has made the United States a better country and we must not lose that. But much remains to be done, and we cannot forget that the United States was built on slavery and the subjugation of the native peoples of North America.

Pirates also cherish our First Amendment to the constitution and the rights that it entails. Everyone has a fundamental right to free speech and the best way to counter the ideas you oppose is to speak for the ideas you support. If we allow governments to pick and choose which speech is acceptable or where and when people can speak, everyone loses. We shouldn’t justify cities denying white supremacists permits because they denied permits to the Occupy encampment in Boston or created free speech zones for leftist opponents to the closed 2000 Presidential debate at UMass Boston.

Private companies have the right to monitor speech on their platforms and we encourage them to support tools that allow individuals to counter harassment. Freedom of speech includes freedom to choose what speech you personally want to hear. However, with so much of what we know and can find on-line mediated by large corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter, we have to acknowledge the power they have to influence what speech people hear. Google alone has censored videos of the US Army blowing up Nazi swastikas after World War 2 and tweaked their search algorithms to reduce traffic to leftist, liberal and independent news sources such as Democracy Now, Media Matters, Wikileaks and Naked Capitalism. Cheering on such actions because they censor white supremacists and Nazis, leaves us vulnerable to hearing only the speech that corporate elites want us to hear.

On Saturday, we will be at the Boston Counter-Protest & Resistance Rally on Boston Common. We will be there to oppose white supremacy and advocate for liberation, free speech and individual privacy. We will meet outside the Charles/MGH MBTA stop at 11:30am and urge you to join us.

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