F*ck the military, f*ck your flag, f*ck the police
A video from Occupy Dayton in which a protestor is shouting "F*ck the military, f*ck your flag, f*ck the police!" is going viral.
A video from Occupy Dayton in which a protestor is shouting “F*ck the military, f*ck your flag, f*ck the police!” is going viral.
Big Government’s Publius notes that the organizers are hopping mad and threatening to sue . . . someone for libel over posting this. and notes that,
The case that Occupy Dayton relies on, Becker v. Toulmin, 165 Ohio St. 549 (1956), does not have any relevance here. The video merely publishes the activist’s own words, which he stated volubly and in public.
Furthermore, the activist depicted is involved in a matter of public concern, and therefore is a public figure for the purpose of Occupy Dayton. He would therefore have to meet a higher-in this case, impossible-standard of proof.
Neither he, nor Occupy Dayton, has a case.
Let’s grant that Occupy Dayton doesn’t have grounds for suing. Can we also grant that it’s silly to keep trotting out videos and photographs of individuals at a come one, come all protest and using them to demonstrate that the movement is unsavory? In a mass protest, you’re always going to have a fair number of yahoos–indeed, usually a disproportionate number of them–regardless of the cause.
Showing these signs and videos have a number of legitimate uses: Showing the wide-ranging “causes” that bring people out, which is useful in terms of discussing the coherence of the movement and difficulty in translating it into public policy. Countering protestors’ own image of what their rallies are like. Sheer comedic value. But they can’t be extrapolated to the movment itself, whether it’s a couple of yahoos with muskets at a Tea Party rally or a guy shouting anti-Semitic slogans at an Occupy event.