Curbing Free Speech

Gabe writes:

Before we got to the final cordon of police surrounding us, we passed two young men in business suits. One man gave me his business card that read, "50% OFF: Mobile Protest Area (for 30 minutes, $5 for additional 30 minutes): EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AT 1/2 THE COST: FREE ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT PICKET SIGN RENTAL WITH THIS COUPON (or $3 for 30 minutes) -- Kids in FREE with Paying Adult -- [then in very small font] -- brought to you by Clear Channel.??" Then the other one produced a black box and pointed it at my head and took a Polaroid of my face and held it out to me shouting: "Commemorate your time here at this anti-establishment protest! Yours for only 8 dollars!"

I missed those guys. Probably around the same time I was reading a sign near the Libertarian demonstrator table. The sign had a phone number: "1-800-ELECTUS." I commented on how desperate that phone number seemed - no issues at all, just "elect us." Then we crossed the street to get a gander at the counter-demonstrators. When I saw the Libertarian counter-demonstrators, I felt sorry for the Libertarian Party, protesting against itself.

My favorite sign of the day was an outline of America with the words "Free Speech Zone" printed over it. As I was being pushed by a police horse into a crowd of people who weren't moving, I asked the officer standing next to me where exactly I was to go. He said "on the curb." I said "but the curb is full of people." He said "I know." I guess that's the bright side of the gradual restriction of free speech in America: the curb is always full of people, and the police know.

Be number 1:

 
 
 
knows half of 8 is