Occupy Charlottesville (OC), a group that intentionally and needlessly defied curfew and permit laws in advocacy of “free speech” now has censored its own, and in doing so, has created an internal uproar.
Recent discussion threads on OC’s Facebook page (see below) show only limited tolerance for “offensive” free speech, especially when it involves criticism of President Obama or “name calling.” In this instance, not only was a member silenced for contrarian expression, but also all vestiges of her posts were eradicated from the digital discourse without notice or warning.
When challenged on the muzzling by a concerned Occupier, several of the group’s Facebook participants defended the censorship citing violation of OC’s “core values” and the poster’s promulgation of “personal attacks” on “active” group members.
Suppression of speech? From the same group that portrayed the First Amendment as the cornerstone of its existence?
Violation of “core values”? From the same group whose members gleefully screamed at a female Charlottesville Police Officer: “I heard pigs has 30-minute orgasms; is that true?” and “Show me your t*ts, pig”?
Confronted with a relatively mild free speech paradox, Occupy Charlottesville has failed miserably. Primarily because this group was never truly about “free speech”— although, many members deluded themselves into believing theirs was a First Amendment fight. The “Seinfeld” of protest movements, Occupy Charlottesville was and is all about nothing—or perhaps, more accurately, all about doing nothing. Witness able-bodied Occupiers bemoaning lack of financial opportunity while simultaneously forgoing local employment solicitations in order to lounge in Lee Park for nearly two months.
Signs in the group’s former encampment warned Occupiers that if approached by the media, no one speaks for the group and that everyone speaks only for himself. Under this systemic non-accountability, no individual could be held responsible for an action or statement of any associate. Where order, doctrine, structure, and responsibility are absent, anarchy reigns. Such was, and is the case with Occupy Charlottesville—a movement born of and continuing in lawlessness.
Occupiers, enamored with Kristin Szakos’ pro-Occupy maxim that “Free Speech doesn’t end at 11:00,” have mired themselves in a self-created First Amendment quagmire by squelching rights the group claimed to champion. And in doing so, Occupy Charlottesville has exposed itself as a hypocritical and fraudulent crusade—like all Marxist movements before it—preoccupied not with precepts of freedom, but with the imposition of veiled autocracy and the suppression of free expression.
It’s 11 PM Occupy Charlottesville: do you know where your principles are?
Read Occupy Charlottesville’s Facebook “free speech” exchange:
Senna August Beall
last week, I posted something that got a response by a girl named Meganne. Some found it argumentative, called her a “troll”, and suggested she be “blocked” for simply stating her opinions about Occupy and why she thought we should concentrate on dismantling the Fed and impeaching Obama. Later, her comments disappeared and I said “I hope no one blocked her”. I got an email from her that she was indeed blocked from Occupy Charlottesville facebook page and could no longer see, post or comment. So much for free speech? Admin of this page, why block somebody who doesn’t agree?
About the Author: Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.