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Thread: Free Speech Free Zones in Malls

  1. #1
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Free Speech Free Zones in Malls

    :x

    Here's another lovely example of no feedom of speech on private commercial properties.

    The thing that kills me is they bought the offending t-shirts from a mall merchant!
    Last edited by SGB; 05 Mar 2003 at 1:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    They were wrong. He has a right to wear the shirt*. All involved over reacted except the man with the shirt.



    *Now if it was a pro-life shirt I can see him taking a serious beating by the cops, the ACLU looking the other way, and no press coverage being given to him. Because some ideas are better than others. Some expressions of political thought are more progressive. Some points of view don't need consitutional protection. People that have conservative views should be sued under RICO. They should be ruined personaly and be made to pay triple damages. (Actual ACLU & NOW policy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I was just going to post this article. It goes to show that malls are no substitute for the real thing. Whenever I'm in one I get the sad feeling that all these people would be shopping, strolling, or having little charity events downtown if "things were different."

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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I have seen other stories on this incident, and they say the mall has signs that state that wearing of any apparel that may cause a disturbance is prohibitied and the person will be removed. It is looking like the guy was out looking for trouble

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Originally posted by giff57
    I have seen other stories on this incident, and they say the mall has signs that state that wearing of any apparel that may cause a disturbance is prohibitied and the person will be removed. It is looking like the guy was out looking for trouble
    And yet the same mall allows retailers to sell apparel that "may cause a disturbance." Sounds just a little bit inconsistant to me.

    Also note that the only ones saying a disturbance was caused was mall security. The offending apparel wearers spoke to no one expressing their views; they simply wore them on their shirts.

  6. #6
          Downtown's avatar
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    Ok, here's my take, as this mall is in my neck of the woods (ok - 5 minutes from my house). And also, as a personal bias, I totally hate this mall - they willfully and illegally destroyed a ton of Pine Bush Barrens that were protected, and then ended up paying a fine with annual restitution, but whatever.

    Anyway, my understanding is that this guy really was just walking around. he wasn't protesting, or demonstrating or harrassing anyone. i've been to this mall a few times, and, like any mall with scads of young hipsters wandering around, there are plenty of much more provocative outfits and t-shirt slogans to be seen everywhere. AND this mall has more gang activity that downtown Albany, muggings and assaults, so why the hell are the rent a cops picking on tee shirt guy? ugh. again, whatever.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Kicking this guy out is just the mall's way of getting celebrity visits from the Martin Sheen protest crowd.

    I really don't see how the shirt would cause a disturbance. Its not like he was running around throwing fake blood everywhere like some activists do. But, on the other hand, this guy is probably going to love every minute of being a minor celebrity for the next 5 years.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Its just sad, its not like it was a hate filled shirt or even a die kitty die shirt etc

    just a peace sign

    i find the French flag upsetting so will they remove anyone wearing it?

    i find pictures of Bin Ladden upsetting will they remove any ref to him?

    I have a feeling there is gonna be hell to pay for this in someones office, maybe more than one office.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Full disclosure time:

    I dislike not just this mall, but the developer too.

    And an inlaw of mine is a security guard there. I'll have to try to get an insider perspective on this incident....

    Originally posted by KMateja
    Ok, here's my take, as this mall is in my neck of the woods (ok - 5 minutes from my house). And also, as a personal bias, I totally hate this mall - they willfully and illegally destroyed a ton of Pine Bush Barrens that were protected, and then ended up paying a fine with annual restitution, but whatever.

    Anyway, my understanding is that this guy really was just walking around. he wasn't protesting, or demonstrating or harrassing anyone. i've been to this mall a few times, and, like any mall with scads of young hipsters wandering around, there are plenty of much more provocative outfits and t-shirt slogans to be seen everywhere. AND this mall has more gang activity that downtown Albany, muggings and assaults, so why the hell are the rent a cops picking on tee shirt guy? ugh. again, whatever.

  10. #10
          Downtown's avatar
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    Originally posted by SGB
    Full disclosure time:
    I dislike not just this mall, but the developer too.
    Yep yep yep - the developing company is sleazy sleazy. Same company that landed in a lot of trouble in White Plains for bribing officials (a couple of which are now in jail) and are behind the infamous Carousel Mall in Syracuse, built on acres of toxic waste and I'm pretty sure still has problems with sinking. They just put out horribly designed and executed malls.

  11. #11
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Ok, so now I read that the guy is a lawyer. I am really starting to think this thing is a fame/money making scheme.

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    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    Originally posted by giff57
    Ok, so now I read that the guy is a lawyer. I am really starting to think this thing is a fame/money making scheme.
    Yeah, but the mall is only going to get hung by the rope that they gave 'im.

    In my mind, the mall was wrong, but his shirt wasn't constitutionally protected (US, I mean), right? The mall's private property. But I'll be sure to avoid spending money at any of this developer's malls myself, if I ever have the occasion to. Any of you New Yorkers know if this mall's action runs afoul of the state constitution or any state statutes? Just curious...

  13. #13
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    El Feo - You Sir, would be the man for your many fine posts this evening - especially the one in the Ted Koppel thread

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'm with El Feo, El Guapo, and the ACLU on this one. Apparently it is more profane to advertise "Peace on Earth" than it is to advertise the Memorial Day Super Summer Sale?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by El Feo
    In my mind, the mall was wrong, but his shirt wasn't constitutionally protected (US, I mean), right? The mall's private property. Any of you New Yorkers know if this mall's action runs afoul of the state constitution or any state statutes? Just curious...
    I can't speak for New York but other than the bad press here in Texas the mall would have been operating within the law. Just not within common sense.

    It's private property and if they had decided that they did not like blue hair and an old lady refused to leave, after being told to leave, she could be arrested for criminal trespass.

    I just feel sorry for the poor cops who got called, felt they had to make an objectionable arrest, and then only to have the mall decide they do not want to pursue charges after all.

    Of course mall management will now be saying that the security guards called the cops without their authorization... Spin, Spin, Spin

    Yes, don't shop at the mall. Bring back our downtowns!
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Hold on to your underwear el Guapo talks about tolerance.

    It comes down to tolerance*. We are not tolerant as a people any longer. We have become a nation that thinks we have to beat up the other guy for his dissent. (left and right) Dissent is healthy. Arresting people for their views is not. The mall owners should issue a public apology whether the guy decided to sue or not. But their lawyers will advise against that. That is the other side of the problem - nothing ever gets resolved with a simple apology anymore.

    *I know I am guilty of intolerance on this board. But hey, I'm trying.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Guap you have grown much in the last few months

    *hug*

    i think many of us on the boards have.


    its too bad that an "im sorry" has no weight anymore, just like a mans word means nada
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Originally posted by PlannerGirl
    ...just like a mans word means nada
    Uh, oh...

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    I am amazed by the stupidity of the mall owners, making such a fuzz about some t-shirt... that they even bought in the mall, not only freedom of speech is in the US Constitution, but also in the Human Rights.

    How can a mall manager be so stupid to make a bad image through these kind of events.... And the think is that since they manage more than 1 mall means more economical damage (though they must be hoping that the colective mind forgets this issue soon)

    Anyways I don't see why they make such a fuzz about it, but I'm not very informed about the issue, I guess I'd have to see the surveillance video to see if he was really doing anything bad...

    Personally I wouldn't have taken off the shirt either, nor left if I hadn't done anything bad.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Here's an insider perspecting on this event, told to me by a secuirty guard supervisor at the mall in question:

    1) The father who was eventually arrested was indeed proselytizing in the food court and elsewhere, contrary to press reports. When asked to stop doing so by mall security, he refused. When subsequently asked to leave the premises or be arrested for trespassing, he chose to be arrested.

    2) Some may have read that the security officer involved in the incident was fired by the mall shortly thereafter. The firing was totally unrelated to this incident; the work by the security officer was acknowledge by the mall officials and the police as "by the book." Apparently this security officer, however well he handled this incident, was not a model employee in many other ways. That was the reason for his firing - not the protester event.


    Originally posted by SGB


    Also note that the only ones saying a disturbance was caused was mall security. The offending apparel wearers spoke to no one expressing their views; they simply wore them on their shirts.

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