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To: Ghulam Muhammad, Mumbai

Reader comment on item: Speaker Shouted Down at U.C.-Irvine
in response to reader comment: Protestors cannot be faulted for their legitimate right to protest

Submitted by B Kettelle (United States), Mar 12, 2007 at 09:08

Dear Sir-

Laws are written here, in America, to benefit the many. True, each person also benefits when laws are fairly written and equitably applied. But "equitably" is not the same as equally.

If I live by myself, in a remote cabin, I can probably play my sound equipment as loudly as I wish. If I live in an apartment complex, I cannot, as I would be disturbing the peace of others. In no way does this violate my individual rights. In every way it protects my rights and the rights of all.

I have the right to protest, but not to shout others down. I may write in protest, but I may not write slanderously. I may criticize, but I may not falsely accuse. Laws protect and extend our rights in America. But no single law may be seized upon and abused by one, or a few, to violate the rights of others, including the right to assemble.

Those who disrupted Mr Pipes' speech had disruption as their goal. They would prevent others from assembling to hear Mr Pipes by assembling to shout him down. They could have assembled as a group outside and made their points with their own speeches and comments. But making their points was not their real goal.

Another commenter wrote that these kinds of disruptions will continue, and even proliferate...and that we had better get used to it. Those who would violate the rights of others had also better get used to being restricted, removed...perhaps even arrested, fined or jailed...when they break the law in this way. Those methods may be acceptable elsewhere, but not in America.


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