There’s nothing free about free speech

tn_gagged_med.jpegThere is nothing free about free speech. Not gathering information; that takes time if nothing else. Nor is speaking free; even though the cost of sharing ideas is plunging the challenge of getting attention has only increased. Finally every utterance that isn’t ignored has consequences; speak truth to power and you’ll find that power may not take kindly to criticism.


Some people pay a heavy price for free speech and when they do the First Amendment Project in Oakland is one of the places they can turn for legal advice and representation. The Project recently helped free Josh Wolf, the freelancer who was jailed for not turning over unpublished video of an anti-globalization rally, and Sarah Olson, who was able to avoid testimony at an army courts martial.


These were both people I knew in varying ways, Wolf through a series of blog postings; I met Olson when she took a night-school class in journalism that I was teaching. The Project is seeking donations. I am sending in a small one. Please consider doing the same. The address is: First Amendment Project, 1736 Franklin St., 9th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612.