A dozen UC Davis students who are being for blockading the campus US Bank branch were scheduled to appear in court Friday.
Many students have rallied in their favor, with some of them even carpooling to Woodland to show their support. In opposition to the charges, they have said that "some repression is visible. Some is not," meaning that while pepper spray can destroy skin, these kinds of lawsuits can destroy lives.
Concurrently, an opinion column written by two UC Davis professors was published in the Sacramento Bee, saying that the “college protests stepped beyond free speech.” Alan Brownstein and Vikram Amar wrote:
...A blockade is not constitutionally protected speech. It is conduct that government has always had the legitimate authority to proscribe because it so obviously obstructs the liberty and lawful pursuits of others.
One critical reason blockades can be prohibited is that they are employed to coerce behavior, not change minds. They are thus antithetical to the values on which freedom of speech and academic freedom are grounded – a commitment to the power of ideas rather than the use of force to change the way that people act.
What do you think? Is bank blockading free speech? Please elaborate on your opinion below.
Read the full Bee column here.