Category: Free speech

Translating the Quebec student protests

by Joan Donovan. Compared to its current clamor, the Quebec student protests began last year with a whimper. In March of 2011, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand announced that Quebec student tuition would increase by $325 every year for five years. By August, student organizations were debating the possibility of an unlimited student strike. In February […]

Entrapment of Cleveland 5 and NATO 3 is nothing new

by Jake Olzen. The old trope of the bomb-throwing anarchist is back in the news, with a round-up in Ohio on May 1 and the three would-be NATO protesters arrested on Wednesday who are now charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism. While the impression that appears in the media is one of remnants of the […]

Can activists on computers save activists in the streets?

I learned a new word today: clicktivism.  Oh, I’m sorry. Am I the last person on the planet to know this word? In my defense, I am closer to 40 than 30 and closer to 50 than 20 (if you must know) at this point. I am a classic late adopter. I got my first […]

Anti-anti-counterfeiting protests gain traction in Europe

ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has united hundreds of thousands of people around the world in protest, both on the Internet and in the streets. Across Europe, activists in more than 20 countries called for a day of action on February 11, demanding that this treaty—which would set new international standards for intellectual property […]

Twitter and Google announce plans to censor

Last month, Internet users and companies rallied together to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, two proposed U.S. bills that sought to give media corporations the tools to combat illegal file-sharing but would have potentially had chilling effects on free speech. It was an innovative protest waged almost exclusively online, […]

Yemeni-Americans protest Saleh immunity, mass demonstrations continue in Bahrain and Syria

About 20 people gathered on Thursday outside the Ritz-Carlton in New York City—where the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was said to be staying—to protest his trip to the United States for medical treatment and a deal he received that granted him immunity from prosecution for  crimes against protesters during uprisings last year. Thousands of […]

How protest pushes laws of assembly

WNV contributor Jeremy Kessler has a new essay at The New Republic, an Occupy Wall Street-inspired reflection on the relationship between protest movements and the crafting of the First Amendment’s right to assembly in American legal history: Only as massive labor unrest roiled the country during the Great Depression did the federal judiciary begin to put […]

Arabs and Bedouins strike in Israel, tens of thousands demonstrate in Russia

Arab and Bedouin Israelis held a state-wide general strike on Sunday as several thousand demonstrators gathered at the Prime Ministry to express their outrage at a government plan that would relocate Negev Bedouins out of their homes into impoverished townships. In cities all across Russia, unauthorized demonstrations were ongoing Sunday after anti-Putin protesters escalated their […]

Internet censorship efforts in Spain halted by opposition

While the United States government debates the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Spanish Internet activists have won a small victory against the threat of censorship on the web. If the proposed Sinde Law had been approved in Spain on December 2, the government would have won the power to shut down websites that offer downloads […]

Russia on the brink?

Allegations of electoral fraud have sparked protests throughout Russia. As many as 6,000 people took to the streets of Moscow Monday night; several hundred protesters, including well known blogger and anti-corruption activist, Alexey Navalny, were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg (According to the BBC there were close to 600 arrests in Moscow alone). “The […]