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Canadian Civil Liberties

Here is an article contributed by our colleague Kerri Lanoue about a decision by municipal government to restore an activist’s right to protest in Windsor, Ontario.

Take a look.  One of the things it made me think about are the ways in which the state can legally restrict speech in the United States (anybody know what they are?) But I also considered what criteria were being employed in relation to this activist, and one was whether he was well-behaved or not.

Since one fundamental principle of ACT-UP, and of radical feminism, was to be disruptive and ill-behaved, I wondered what all of you thought about the place of bad behavior is in activism? When does it suit an activist agenda to be well-behaved? I have written about that in an article called Paths to Political Citizenship (2012), in which I compare GLBT activism and feminist activism in the 1970s.

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4 Comments

  1. Kerri Lanoue says:

    I feel the place of bad behavior in activism changes in each individual. From the readings so far it seems that activism no matter where it begins, comes with the development of self. Standing up for what you believe in and finding ‘your’ voice along the way and the best way to use it. When thinking about differences in behavior with activism, I thought of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and peace/human rights activist, quiet and composed in nature but loud and strong with his beliefs. He was banned from Vietnam at 40 by both the communist and non-communist governments for speaking out against the violence and political oppression of his people. This is a prime example of acting up or speaking low, sometimes regardless of the behavior of an individual their presence is there, it is felt and it interferes. Getting banned by the municipal government because of loud protesting or by an entire country to end a war only kept both individuals from being present in those places but their voices still resonated.

  2. Kerri Lanoue says:

    Definitely, destruction of property, physical violence, which has happened in the past. It seems common for these things to occur, especially when provoked by the government or police officers.

  3. Lynn del Sol says:

    Is it the TPM laws? (Time, Place, and Manner restrictions?)

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