College campuses used to be the kind of places where people would go to be exposed to new ideas. Unfortunately, these institutions — many of which are government funded — have become bastions of restrictions when it comes to free speech.
Today, we must give one campus cop recognition for his twisted take on the topic; even surveying people’s opinions are off-limits according to him.
Students collecting signatures for a free speech petition at an Illinois public college were threatened Friday with arrest if they did not cease their activities and obtain a permit for their activity on campus.
Two students, accompanied by an advisor from conservative organization Turning Point USA, were handing out free copies of the U.S. Constitution and collecting signatures urging the College of DuPage to adopt less-restrictive free speech policies, college news website Campus Reform reported.
A campus police officer soon confronted the students — one proudly holding up an American flag — informing them that they needed to stop.
“You go to the Student Life office, and they give you a permit to do so,” the officer told them.
After the Turning Point USA representative referenced their right to free speech on a public university campus, the officer said the issue did not have to do with their First Amendment rights.
“It’s not free speech, ma’am,” the officer said. “Nobody’s stopping you from free speech, but you can’t solicit out here, and basically you are — you’re soliciting your opinions. Okay? And you need to go get a permit.”
When pressed on if they were violating a law, the officer referred the students to student life and threatened to arrest them.
Here’s video of the interaction:
Wild monkeys on rocket-powered unicycles, that is rich. Shut down for collecting signatures on a free speech petition.
Folks, free speech is free speech, regardless of how you frame it. “Soliciting your opinions” is the exact same thing as free speech! It can’t be much clearer, but this argument is trying to subvert peaceful assembly into the same context as sidewalk vendor.
Any time someone tries to redefine terms like that, it’s bad. Can we agree on this one?