Free Speech: Use It America, Or Lose It

By Abbey Zimet
Common Dreams (10/4/19)

Awash in what Charlie Pierce calls our national, sputtering, demonic “John Le Carré novel starring the Marx Brothers” – now at its “smoking arsenal” stage – it’s comforting to remember the resisters out there. Since the Bush era, tireless Freeway Bloggers largely in California and the West have been busy operating on the First Amendment principle that if you put up a sign over highways where a gazillion, bored, trapped drivers spend hours every day, multitudes will ineluctably see it before someone gets around to taking it down.

Their website boasts compelling arguments: “Impeach,” “Deport Racists,” “Wake Up and Smell the Permafrost,” “Worst President Ever,” “Putin’s Bitch,” “What Happens In the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic,” “Now Officially A Kleptocracy,” and, maybe the best, “Treason Wouldn’t Even Be the Ugliest Thing About Him.”

Often, signs are interspersed with timely quotes: Teddy Roosevelt’s “Do what you can with what you have where you are,” Noam Chomsky’s “The Republican Party has become the most dangerous organization in world history,” Lily Tomlin’s  “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up,” “Voltaire’s “To hold a pen is to be at war.” In that spirit, the video “Free Speech Freeway” was just released by one Larkworthy Antfarm – 8,068 signs, zero arrests – accompanied by Snowflake’s Amplify the Light.” Its message echoes all the rest: “Things are not normal.”

Link to Story and 5-Minute Video