Is urinating on a public memorial free speech? What's too far?
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Author Topic: Is urinating on a public memorial free speech? What's too far?  (Read 67 times)
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« on: November 12, 2017, 10:44:49 pm »

This caught my eye this morning.

A young man in the UK peed on a war memorial. Should the act be punishable because it's a memorial? What if the act was a political statement, would that constitute exercising free speech and be protected?

I'm curious what people think about this.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/12/man-urinated-war-memorial-remembrance-sunday-ordered-apologise/
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 11:28:21 pm »

The thoroughly modern liberal says "yes," it should be a punishable offense.

This can be addressed in several aspects.  In the realm of law, almost every municipality has an ordinance against public urination.

Then, in the realm of personal opinion, I find it's a poor example for all citizenry, especially the young.  Make this the norm, and will people soon be peeing on their desks when they leave a less-than-ideal job?  At some point, will kids pee on their cafeteria trays to signal disapproval of broccoli as vegetable of the day?

To me, it's a vulgar action, and there's a plethora of better ways to make your opinions known.  I'm not inclined to license the act as protected political speech, or spray.

In our current U.S. environment, it doesn't take much prodding to bring out the baser behaviors in people.  So I'd like to put a lid (or a zipper) on this one.
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 11:34:26 pm »

Yes, it is 'Free Speech' if it were done as a political act.

Free Speech should not be an absolute.  In Canadian law, this could be argued as a form of Hate Speech.  It's an attack on dead soldiers not against the government that sent them out to die.
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 11:40:42 pm »

Would it be free speech if a group of men and women pulled down their drawers, and each one took a steaming shit on the memorial, until it was covered in feces and became a public health issue?
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 11:55:27 pm »

Would it be free speech if a group of men and women pulled down their drawers, and each one took a steaming shit on the memorial, until it was covered in feces and became a public health issue?

When you say "A group of mean and women pullled down their drawers, and each one took a steaming shit", are you referring to how the statue of Marion Barry was made? 
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 12:12:58 am »


When you say "A group of mean and women pulled down their drawers, and each one took a steaming shit", are you referring to how the statue of Marion Barry was made? 

You're remarkably unfunny, and this scatological allusion to African-American skin color should earn you a warning, but of course, it won't.

Stop deflecting the issue at hand and allow it to be discussed.
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 12:29:20 am »


When you say "A group of mean and women pulled down their drawers, and each one took a steaming shit", are you referring to how the statue of Marion Barry was made? 

You're remarkably unfunny, and this scatological allusion to African-American skin color should earn you a warning, but of course, it won't.

Stop deflecting the issue at hand and allow it to be discussed.

You are the one defecating the issue at hand.
You are quite racist in implying that African-American skin color is like shit.  I was referring to the clay-like consistency of shit and how it may be used in constructing things like houses in Pakistan and India.  In fact, there is a shortage of shit in those countries because they also use shit for fuel!   You might think it is funny, but the great potato famine was caused by a lack of soil and also a potato blight.. they were using "nightsoil" (shit) to grow the potatoes.   Shame on you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCFgS6kIW9U
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 02:38:11 am »

You're remarkably unfunny, and this scatological allusion to African-American skin color should earn you a warning, but of course, it won't.

Stop deflecting the issue at hand and allow it to be discussed.
_________

You are the one defecating the issue at hand.


Actually, Fred, you started a digression. You thought it was funny and Flozen didn't. Flozen maybe didn't need to make the connection to scat color and skin color but there is no need after to make another joke about having meant something else.

The original topic still stands. Unless you're taking a figurative piss on it to prove a point, you should stick to topic of monuments and the extension of free speech.
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 02:52:36 am »

Well, the connection was so obvious, for me it raised the question, "Just because a member makes so many low-brow remarks, should they continually pass without reproach, so that they become the "new normal?".

Returning to the thread:  If pissing on the statue is permissible as political free speech, I'm still drawn to the most direct analogy, which is "What other bodily fluids are also in this protected class?"

Maybe people could spit on the statue without causing much of a kerfuffle.

But, would it be fine if people were to fling poop at it, like chimpanzees?  They use this as a form of communication, often to express anger.  So, perhaps there's a reason to protect this action for humans who want to express their political anger, as well?

https://janegoodall.ca/our-stories/why-chimpanzees-throw-poop-at-us/

I'd like to hear feedback from someone who feels that pissing does qualify as protected, and their thoughts on spit, poop, HIV-infected blood, etc.  To me, they occupy points on the same continuum.
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 03:37:49 am »

You are conflating Free Speech with Protected Speech.

To use the old chestnut:  "Calling out 'Fire' in a crowded theatre is Free Speech.  It is not Protected Speech."

I do not believe that Free Speech is an absolute.  There are political theorists who consider Free Speech to be an absolute:  therefore no Slander/Libel laws, no Sedition Laws, no Incitement Laws.
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 03:55:07 am »

You are conflating Free Speech with Protected Speech.

To use the old chestnut:  "Calling out 'Fire' in a crowded theatre is Free Speech.  It is not Protected Speech."

I do not believe that Free Speech is an absolute.  There are political theorists who consider Free Speech to be an absolute:  therefore no Slander/Libel laws, no Sedition Laws, no Incitement Laws.

A reflection on free vs. protected speech is always welcome, but I would like to see this level of thoughtfulness as directly applied to the thread's narrative, which, condensed, is "protest as pee." 

And while I'm indulging a bit as the Devil's advocate, I still need to ask that if political pissing is OK, what about the other body fluids?
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 09:17:33 am »

The UK doesn't have free speech like the US does.     "Causing offense" is a crime in most of Europe.   

I don't get why the left would even be talking about this case, since they only support free speech they agree with.    You guys protest pro free speech rallies in the US.   
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