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FREE SPEECH—a lesson from Africa

MELBOURNE —July 2015: Police had to use pepper spray on counter rally protestors to stop them from breaking through Police lines and attacking the peaceful Reclaim Australia Rally in progress.

MELBOURNE —July 2015: Police had to use pepper spray on counter rally protestors to stop them from breaking through Police lines and attacking the peaceful Reclaim Australia Rally in progress.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH—Lesson from Africa.

TRUE STORY: A white African friend of mine grew up as the only white kid in a black village. While he was at school he was invited by his black school mates to witness their town meeting over community issue. He recounted to a group of us what he saw. To me this has become the hallmark of true free speech in a community.

Every person in this community had assembled and one person was handed the “talking stick”. While they held it no one would interrupt, they could say what they thought about the matter. When they finished the group would shout saying ” I-impala” (meaning something like “ain’t that the truth”) and then the stick would be passed onto the next person to have their say. Everyone, men, women, children all got to express their opinion on the matter. When the last person had spoken the meeting abruptly ended.

My friend confused had asked why there was no further discussion, no summary, no formal leadership decision. His friends just said…”truth was left on the table—plain for all to see.”

Everyone there knew what was true. Australians are like this too. This is our uncommon common sense that we are continually upheld for.

Taken in this context—Counter Rallies

Counter rallies are just a group of people—bigots really—who are intent on stopping the truth of other people from being heard. They intimidate those that want to attend the meeting. They block the process of the calm delivery of peoples thoughts. There can be no delivery of “free speech” in the hostile environment they create.

They are simply there to disrupt that “peaceful assembly” that is every Australian’s right as citizens and to hear the opinions of others. They are the true bullies of free speech—and they need to be banned. They just don’t belong in any civilised society that calls itself a democracy.

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