Is My First Amendment Bothering You? Police Brutality and Free Speech

IS MY FIRST AMENDMENT BOTHERING YOU?

Police Brutality and Free Speech

In a year of one instance of police abuse after another, we gather to discuss the history, current configurations, and tentative solutions to the age-old problem of state repression of liberty, in the form of police abuse.

Over and over, we hear about groundless arrests and unjustified incarcerations. We know that, as an ideal, the First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to believe, speak and travel . . . to associate and assemble. To be out in public places as we see fit: walking, driving, or protesting, so long as we are peaceful. Yet, we still learn about a blogger held in prison for months for filming a protest and refusing to turn over the tape to the state. The student activist held in jail for hours in downtown LA, simply for marching in a protest over what happened in Ferguson. This is not a new history, but what can we do about police abuse? As journalists, scholars, or just human beings – – Join us.

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and California State University, Northridge, Journalism Department invite you to the Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum, the 24th annual event lecture series.

Well-known experts, Professor Christian Davenport of University of Michigan and Video Journalist Josh Wolf, will discuss, via Skype, the tension between state repression and civil liberty. CSUN-based guest speakers, Prof. Raul Ruiz and department of journalism undergraduate, Priscilla Diaz, will join the discussion.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3 p.m., at CSUN’s University Student Union, Thousand Oaks Room. The university is located at 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA, 91325. Admission is free.

The Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum Speakers Series was established in recognition of Dr. Devol’s service to CSUN. Devol, who retired in 1991, was a faculty member for 30 years, including 12 as department chair. He earned many honors and founded the CSUN chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honorary journalism scholarship society. Devol wrote “Mass Media and the Supreme Court,” a staple textbook used in law classes across the country.

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