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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How Far Can Individual Liberty Go?

From CNN News
October 15, 2005

“A neo-Nazi group’s scheduled march against ‘black crime’ in Toledo, Ohio, sparked rioting Saturday afternoon.” “The NSM [National Socialist Movement] promotes itself as America’s Nazi Party and said that it was protesting black gangs, which it claimed were harassing its residents. The group said it had received support from Toledo’s white citizens and community activists.” “A spokesman from the group, Bill White, blamed the riot on Toledo police, saying the police intentionally changed the group’s march route to make it collide with a counter-demonstration.” “About 20 members from both the International Socialists Organization and One People’s Project showed up, and some handed eggs to African American residents to throw at the Nazi marchers, White said.”

How far is too far for individual liberty? Or is it never too far, as long as someone isn’t hurt? What if someone is not physically hurt, but emotionally so? Where is the line drawn, or is there no line drawn for an event like that above?

Many would agree that individual liberty equals the capability to do whatever one wants as long as it does not infringe on someone else’s individual liberty. So when there is a public demonstration that affects both parties – what is right and what is wrong?

These are questions that have and will continue to be raised, as we carry on our lives in a “free” nation, where individuals desire to express and explain their liberties to others.

This is interesting because it brings about the issue of what public property can be used for. Certainly from a liberty perspective any opinion is allowed to be expressed on private property, what types of opinions are allowed to be demonstrated on public property and who makes that decision? Streets are public property, does that mean ANY opinion can be expressed upon them?
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