Promote the Public Forum wherever you are – especially if you’re on the footpath
The “public forum” sign above is part of an urgently needed community action campaign. Anyone can display the sign when they’re freely expressing themselves: being seen, being vocal, entertaining, engaging people, making protest, making light, frolicking!
In fact paste it up as a self-fullfilling statement of one’s personal empowerment and to remind everyone including old mars, big business men, law makers (in businessmen’s pockets) and law enforcement that our public space is free for lots of things – besides corporate interest.
The campaign asserts free speech rights in the public domain; a safe zone of expressive rights known as the Public Forum.
This sign simply reinforces what is already protected through laws and treaties everywhere on Earth – namely the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and local statue in every nation and in their national constitutions: the USA First Amendment for example. (see some references below)
Churches, unions, media, artists, entertainers, protestors, cause advocates, government and political candidates all use the sidewalk for free speech. Unfortunately where I live on Oahu Island, Hawai`i, some 4000 homeless people use the sidewalk as there home and bedroom since the city closed the parks at nite to the public. Further, last week the City and County of Honolulu passed Bill 7 which will now enable police and the city to immediately confiscate any belongings on the sidewalk it deems a “nuisance”.
PUBLIC PROTECTION ZONES
The Public Forum safe zone campaign is falling under a general declaration for public protection that also includes a sister campaign for a safe zone for homeless. The latter is called the Emergency Shelter Safe Zone. Individuals or groups can use one or both signs to display in a public place where they declare their rights to free speech and/or emergency rest. People can declare that they’re in a safe zone to city and police workers who approach them. If they are arrested, harassed or have property searched or taken they will be able to register the incident on line for a common law suit. The registration site is not yet active but I will link to it when available.
It is hoped that the more the signs are displayed the more educated lawmakers, law enforces and the public will become and the more acceptable free speech will be.
Most every minute progress or grand epoch on the path to establishing human rights and defeating prejudice and ignorance has come with the people’s procession of free speech – often on the streets – on our sidewalks and public domains. The transit on mass of the wealth of concept, information and messaging is basic communications – a type of travel – its vibration and its necessary for survival, life and universal manifestation.
As human rights are known and appreciated as an esteem of intellect – a non-material awareness – the physical power behind abuses of those rights become harder and harder to muster. In fact there is no physical force that a human or humans can organize that can defy the will of the people in open communication.
Global free speech, exchange and transparency is our hope for security, sustainability and peace – Private Globalization on the other hand has no authority, no mandate of the will of the body corporate -us- in the rightful conditions of full open communications – The Globalization Pac is now the new proprietor of mass violence, staged wars and terror, over taxation and usury, waste – it is antithetical to asserting human rights and developing security, sustainability and peace – it’s overpowering media and curriculum control has no interest or goal for truth – science – the fundamental reckoning of the universe.
Truth seekers, generally not wealthy, acclaimed or elected, are actually relegated to a tiny portion of the speech wall – their messages ridiculed – their personhood ostracized / outcast. They are unrecognized and unrewarded.
The Occupy Wall Street protestors fall into this scenario. I support DeOccupy Honolulu that camps on the sidewalk at Thomas Square but is continually raided by the city and disheveled. Likewise nitely artists at Waikiki are harassed and arrested by city police on Kalakaua Avenue sidewalk where I am a portrait artist.
But it’s not always people who are on the cutting edge of society is it? It is also true that despite corporate media/government manipulation often individuals, representing a majority, remain steadfast on policies that the former entities will not concede. Polls often reveal the people’s will for common sense but which is disregarded and unreported – leaving those individuals thinking they are isolated. We, the people need to be seen- visible and communicating as a single body – clumsy and messy at times but moving forward holding our own responsibility and rewards that comes with recognizing our intelligent worth.
The danger on Earth is that traditional physical areas of free speech especially public sidewalks and malls are being forgotten as being ‘public forum zone’.
Those that know need to communicate the idea broadly that the public forum aspects of public spaces are our utilities, our banks and our resources – our vital intellectual exchanges. People are losing individual, family and community identity to the behest of corporate speech – advertising, TV and media, and government dispatch communications. Global corporations are self-centered entities which demand obedient workers and consumers and sidewalk now appear to have the corporate purpose fixed in people’s perception rather than the purpose of our ancestors who crafted and built them. Corporate interest in our sidewalks and malls is pretty much narrowed down to simply convey people to and from work and from shop to shop, merchant card register to merchant card register.
Private global entities have managed a disgraceful erosion of the public domain. Common representational government systems, namely democracy is being diminished if not eliminated. This is reflected in the erosion of our sidewalks and public spaces, traditionally the village square. This real estate is literally being pulled from under our feet.
Younger generations are fast losing any idea that these areas are also for free expression and with that they loose power and self. Protest is a fundamental use of public space.
The public needs to recognize it’s great power and rights associated with free speech in the physical domain. Yes the internet, like I’m using here, is a great resource of free speech but this is still secondary to the need to hold onto the streets to maintain free speech and project good social, cultural, political ways – direction! We need the right to assemble and be visible.
Also, everyone holds intellectual property rights to these common areas and it has a deep value for which corporate conglomeration can never afford. It not for sale! The organic circumstances of the public forum means that it is inalienable – unable to be diminished eliminated or transferred.
The people’s unbeatable and united power is held in the very friction generated in the vibrant communicative quality that is inherent within it. But there is a real threat here in my lifetime, that these important functions are being made blunt and useless – lost! And I’m afraid that a downward spiral is at our human doorstep. The determination of the environment, our prospects for survival – this is evidence of wrongful entities dictating human culture – the massive culture of speechless victims on one hand and a wild suicidal destruction of terror on the other.
Free speech is a natural weaving. As the exchange fabric of common ideas, creativity, information and delivery of truth in news with diversity of commentary becomes broken, willfully disrupted, made shabby it is then venerable, cancerous, hard work to fix and dangerous. Nevertheless free speech is our solution and our hope – we might all have to share in the dirty work to fix it.
UN Universal Declaration of Independence
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.