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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/24/17

'Free' Speech,

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originally published on Otherjones.com

Frederick Douglass Human Rights Advocate
Frederick Douglass Human Rights Advocate
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Perhaps the most egregious example of the media bending over backwards this past weekend was Meet the Press's Chuck Todd, who behaved as though he had been anointed Moral Grand Master, excoriating the Anti-Fa for challenging Nazi's 'right to free speech'.

Free speech is codified in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which all nations are expected to adhere:

Article 4. Liberty means being permitted to do anything that doesn't harm others. The exercise of man's human rights is limited solely by those that guarantee to all other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights, and can only be determined by laws.

Article 5. The law is only authorized to forbid actions that are harmful to society. Anything that is not proscribed by law cannot be prevented, and no one can be forced to do what the law does not command.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

So far, all well and good, however Article 29 states that:

1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

Regarding the question of freedom of speech:

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

It's clear that while the rights of the Alt Right and Anti-Fa to free speech (and peaceful assembly!) are protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to the same document, both are prevented from using force to affirm these rights or deprive others of them, as this would upset the public order and general welfare of society. As for "the general principles and purposes of the United Nations", these are not specifically enunciated on its official website other than in this sentence describing the Secretary General:

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Born in Phila, I spent most of my adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, my latest being Russia's Americans.

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring


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