Free Speech and the Alt-Right – talk about being unclear on the concept!
Right wing opportunists and talking heads lambast UC-Berkeley for hypocrisy around free speech – as if UCB is somehow the historic patron of free speech!
UCB has never been about free speech. The Free Speech Movement was against UCB, not of, by, or for it. The University did everything they could, from police and teargas to rewriting history, to destroy the FSM and later political movements.
The point of the Free Speech Movement was and is to exercise free expression in public, with no official sponsorship – in fact, to speak freely even when institutional power tries to shut you down.
It’s not whining and moaning about how you are being denied university approval and a private room and police protection to have your little moment of freedom.
Free Speech is not something you do behind closed doors, or from a podium, or for a speakers fee.
Free speech is when you go out in public, set up your soapbox, and start talking.
Others may or may not listen. They may yell or talk over you.
It’s the chance you take in a free country.