ACLU Forum on First Amendment after Charlottesville

December 05, 2017

On December 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), the Santa Cruz Chapter of the ACLU of Northern California presented "Free Speech in Hateful Times: Navigating the First Amendment After Charlottesville."

Speakers at the event were Christine Sun, the Associate Director and Legal and Policy Director of the ACLU of Northern California, and Zahra Billoo, the Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The conversation was moderated by Peter Gelblum, the Chair of the Santa Cruz Chapter of ACLU-NC. The event was co-sponsored by the RCNV.

In August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists and neo-Nazis propounded racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic messages, conducted a torch-light march reminiscent of both the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis, and violently attacked counter-protesters, including driving a car into a crowd, killing one young woman and injuring many others. The violence that occurred in Charlottesville has caused civil libertarians around the country to examine their historic, staunch, and absolutist defense of the First Amendment when it comes into conflict with co-equal Constitutional rights, such as Equal Protection, and other vital civil liberties, including racial justice. What should lovers of civil liberties do when the goal of those seeking to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly is to deny others those same rights and/or to harm others? This Conversation explored this complex, thorny issue in depth.

The RCNV is located at 612 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz. The event is free.