Was I the only one who read
Sacramento Bee as Sarah Bee?
A California shopping mall may ask the State Supreme Court to defend its ban on its patrons speaking to one another except to ask where the toilet is. Judges on the 3rd District Court of Appeal last week ruled that the Westfield Galleria in Roseville's ban on a visitor "approaching patrons with whom he or she was not …
How about freedom from hearing the discredited waffle of "believers"?
About a year ago I saw a woman with a young child (about 8 or 9) and a table piled with Christian propoganda, (in a street, not a privately ownded mall), telling the passing masses about he beliefs. I asked her how old she thought the Earth is and she replied "5-6000 years". So I asked her how old she thought dinosaur bones are that have been found and she replied "4-5000 years".
I told the child that, as we know many dinosaur bones are many millions of years old, what her mother was saying made no sense.
Far from respecting my "freedom of speech" the woman got rather angry with me.
BTW - If being an atheist makes me "militant" (because I absolutely believe there is no god....seems a fairly balanced position given there is no evidence whatsoever to the contrary), surely anybody who absolutely believes there is a god is also a militant?
>How about freedom from hearing the discredited waffle of "believers"?
You mean like saying 'No thanks, I'm not interested" ?
>If being an atheist makes me "militant"
It doesn't. Who said that it did?
On the one hand, you rally against being somehow compelled to listen to others, in a manner as yet unexplained, and yet you feel that you have the right to force your own beliefs upon others, as you illustrated in your response above.
I think that just about sums up the staggering hypocrisy of the modern day 'atheist'.
Good lord. You may not be 'militant' but you certainly are an asshole. You saw this lady there, take the initiative to go up and pick a fight, and then act indignant when she argues with you? What the hell is wrong with you, anyway?!
Guys like you are the reason I have to explain to people that despite the fact that I'm an atheist, I am not, in fact, a monstrous dickhead. Well done for the cause, there, numbskull.
First, I don't care if there's a God or not, but the creation/evolution topic always bothered me. It's 100% guaranteed that a bunch of desert wandering blue collar workers from Egypt that weren't even smart enough to avoid eating improperly prepared pork 5700 years ago must have been given a set of rules and a book that they can understand well enough to believe in it. It also seems obvious to me that your God, if he did provide the book would intentionally do what he needed to give those people faith and to keep them alive. All religions were based on the theory of "who are you?" followed by "I'm the guy who made you, here's the story". So your god had to give some details they would understand.
Let's imagine for a moment that he in fact did create the universe, but he did it exactly the way the scientists say he did. Let's face it, if he's all powerful and all mighty, would you rather be something he slapped together in a few days and said "bah, good enough" and left it at that? Or would you rather believe you are something that he spent billions of years planning and eventually set off an event at the center of the universe which flowered out and made something of near perfection?
If you want to believe in something, would you rather take literally a book written to make a undereducated population dieing in the dessert survive long enough to find 'the promise land" or would you rather learn your morals from the guidance he gave you and leave it up to the scientists he created to read the heavens for you?
Whether you have a reasoned or balanced belief has nothing to do with being militant, which has everything to do with your behaviour and demeanour. See dictionary definitions of militant: "aggressive", "belligerent" etc.
Instead of engaging the woman in reasoned argument you sought to embarrass and undermine her in front of her child.
I'm a recovering Jew myself and even before learned to think for myself, I considered it embarrassing to be approached by someone who apparently thought I was "lost" enough that I needed unsolicited approaching. It can be as embarrassing as someone telling you "You put your underwear on outside of your pants", or "Did you know that's a woman's shirt?". It's like "Don't you realize that your soul is obviously in danger?"
Recently, I had suffered a major back problem similar to a slipped disc. While walking from the clinic (not a druggy one, but one you pay for, even in a country where medicine is free because you don't like sitting and waiting in pain) to the train station, I was moving at a pace which made the average snail look slow. I was in pain. A relatively nice couple stopped me, assuming I was a druggy and tried "to save my soul", they were nice enough, and I didn't want to offend them, they seemed like they genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and really wanted to help, but I couldn't get rid of them for nearly 20 minutes and as opposed to trying to convert me to their religion, they never once offered me a should to lean on. Those 20 minutes were agonizingly painful for my back and I hadn't reached the pharmacy yet to get my pain killers (which was near the train station I was walking to).
The fact is, no means no. To some people, these types of meetings make a lot of people really uncomfortable and it's terribly inconsiderate of anyone who insists on doing this. I guess I don't mind a priest approaching some strangers in the mall and saying hello, and if those people engage him in a conversation, fine. But if he's sharing his religion (which to many of us, even other types of Christians I know) unsolicited is like a guy with malaria coming up to you and kissing you.
This should be in Bootnotes, surely?
* Shopping centres are private property. The First Amendment only limits what laws the US Federal Government can pass. A ban on activities on private property might run afoul of state or federal law, but cannot by definition be unconstitutional.
* The Sacramento Bee is a satirical publication.
IT? used ironically because someone invariably sticks it on a comment on a Bootnotes story
This case deals with California law, not federal. The CA constitution has a stronger freedom of speech protection, making it a "positive right", not just forbidding the government from restricting speech. For this reason people soliciting donations or signatures for some cause or another are a common sight in front of stores around here, even though businesses would prefer not to have them there.
I don't know what the situation is in other states, but in California at least, private property doesn't automatically trump freedom of speech, not once you invite the public onto your property in the first place.
Westfield is not the government, it's a corporation. When you figure out the difference, your perspective will be considered. If you read the article (a challenging task, I know, since your Marmite-stained fingers could hardly restrain themselves from assaulting the keyboard), you'll note that the local *government* did not press charges and let the would-be proselytizer go.
Talk about god in a strongly positive or strongly negative way.
Always good to get the fight going. There are those on both sides of the argument who are not open to the idea that they could be wrong if slapped about with a large piece of evidence. They will defend their belief (in or against) with their last breath.
im more than willing to believe. but personally if you dont have even any sketchy evidence after what, at least 6000 years of humanity then i dont expect to see any soon.
its funny how atheists get stick for not believing in something. its not us preaching in town centres telling people they are all wrong and organising some kind of massive paedo network.
organised religion is 100% man made, spirituality is another thing entirely. i dont need to read a book written hundreds of years after the fact by men in a room to know how to be a good person.
why do you have the right to believe yet i dont have the right to disbelieve?
The God-botherer here is referring to the filthy yoghurt-knitting *California* State Constitution, not the Most Holy United States Constitution that Saint Reagan carved on tablets of stone from Plymouth Rock.
Mind you, it's still twonk, since all it says is "SEC. 2. (a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press."
I guess if you're a freetard Lunix zealot or similar you *could* interpret that as meaning that no law - such as trespass - can be applied in such a way as to stop Invisible Sky Giant crackpots from spouting their drivel, but then you're on a slippery slope to nailing "Visit HitlerYouthPorn.com!" posters on school doors. Is that what you want, California? Because THAT'S WHAT WILL HAPPEN.
ask him to leave?
if he does not comply phone the police and tell them he is acting suspiciously (terrorist) and get him banged up for a few hours.
If he comes back tell them he is looking at children funny...
As a final measure, find out where he lives and attempt to do some "swatting" and get them to go around his house and flash bang his dog, while drive off with the front of his house attached to a pick up truck, apparently that happens all the time in the US ^^.
It's good to see that the colonies are finally catching up with the basic rules of etiquette and public decency.
"...seeking "damages in [sic] an unspecified amount for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his rights under California's Civil Rights Act".
God moves in mysterious ways!
Just like my living room.
You can NOT spout your religious bullshit to anyone in my living room ... I do not allow shamanism here in any shape or form. If you try, you will be shown the door, and indeed escorted off my property. If you struggle, I have the option of making a citizens arrest, charging you with trespassing, and/or assault, depending on how violent you are in insisting on delivering your variation of "the good word".
Don't like my house rules? Don't come here. We won't miss you.
"If you struggle, I have the option of making a citizens arrest, charging you with trespassing, and/or assault, depending on how violent you are in insisting on delivering your variation of "the good word".
You can't have them charged with trespass if you invited them in in the first place, but changed your mind after the fact.
"You can't have them charged with trespass if you invited them in in the first place, but changed your mind after the fact."
No? You are welcome to visit my Ranch for horse related activities and various types of dog training (we also offer occasional classes in turning lambs & steers into food, grapes into wine, malt and hops into beer, and salt, flour & water into bread). You are not welcome to preach here. Try it, and I'll personally show you the property line. Complain or otherwise act up, and I'll arrest you. Sue me. I dare you.
 Yes, here in California, I can do this as a citizen. And have. Never lost the resulting lawsuit (and the idiots always try to sue me). The trick is having clued-in witnesses and understanding the law, to say nothing of when to apply it.
I don't know what legal system you are talking about, but it seems unlikely that your assertion is true. Consider the (seriously hypothetical) situation where you invite in, say, a plumber to fix a dripping tap. The plumber does this, but then, without your permission, sits down on your sofa, switches the telly on, and proceeds to watch something you don't want to watch. The plumber is no longer there for the activity he was invited in for, and it is now a trespass.
Incidentally, certainly in the UK, common trespass isn't a criminal offence - it is civil.
In California, owners of properties like shopping malls may not prohibit solicitors such as religious, political (candidates, ballot measures, etc), or various causes (animal rights, etc.) from soliciting... The property owner can limit where they can set up operations (i.e., a fixed site with a table), and require that they not approach shoppers, but allow shoppers to express an interest by approaching the solicitor. Usually, the mall owner will limit the number and placement of tables, and require that the solicitor not block pedestrian traffic in any way. Most malls have a large open area, or several, where the solicitors set up their tables, and are ignored for the most part.
what this is about is the right of people to access a space and interact, BUT
Im fairly sure you'd expect that if someone wanted to do customer research, collect for charity, give our free samples of product x. They would need permission form the mall/store management ?
If you were at a mall/store and got stopped every 5 ft by someone doing research, collecting for charity, giving out free samples etc, you may complain to store management because you don't want to be harassed while shopping?
So really this is about limiting/managing people who go to the store/mall to interact with people but have no intention of shopping (possibly hence the term 3rd party access form).
Now as with every other area of stuff in life there are grey areas, e.g. a few school kids collecting info for homework etc, but thats life, you just expect people to deal with this in a sensible way. Maybe this guy was not being dealt with in a sensible way, but maybe he was popping out from behind things saying "hey id like to talk to you about god!" and being a jerk.
But what this isn't about, is two shoppers having a chat.
I can't even begin to imagine the meeting where this mall law was thought up and everyone round the table said "yeah, that's a good idea."
And then for the mall manager to say (presumably with a straight face) that people have to fill out a form to be allowed to talk to other people in the mall...
This is the kind of thing you'd expect the Taliban to come up with, not residents of a supposedly free country like the USA.
Can anyone here tell the difference between a private entity and the state?
Let me spell this out for you cretins:
1) The mall, a private entity, made the rule
2) The state, a public entity, has been petitioned to answer as to the validity of the private entity's actions
See how that works? The petitioner is hoping to find that the government will find that freedom of speech exists *more* broadly than generally understood to, not *less*, and the government had no involvement in, nor did it pursue, any harassment of the individual.
Is this actually that difficult to understand, or is it just hard for people to avoid self-righteously slandering the US because it's in vogue?
Greetings and Salutations.
I am not a lawyer (my parents raised me to be ethical and honorable). However, it appears that the Mall is so far in the wrong here that the best they can do is negotiate a settlement, and move on. According to the uncontested reports, the pastor was speaking with three young ladies about his Christian views AFTER he had asked their permission and received it. It was an employee of the Mall who was offended and precipitated the unlawful detention. Some of the important points here are that the employee had no standing in the conversation, as they were not a part of it. Then, there is no indication that the pastor was soliciting anything (Most retail stores here have "no soliciting" signs on the building, as they do not want the competition). Finally, the California Supreme Court has ruled that "that the free-speech and petition provisions of the California Constitution grant mall visitors a constitutional right to free speech that outweighs the private-property interests of mall owners"
Now, when the pastor was approached by security and refused to leave when asked, he may have stepped over a line...However, if his goal was to force the issue, this was a good way to go about it. However, again, the request should never have come up, because there is no sign that he was doing anything to disrupt the shopping experience of the other folks in the Mall.
So...Looks like the lawyers will be able to argue either side of this case, and, either way will get a new Mercedes out of the deal!
Once again, the lawyers win.
I think there used to be a time when laws were set up to protect the freedom/property/etc of individuals.
Now it seems that laws and policing are set up to perpetuate the huge amounts of money earnt by lawyers in either arguing about loopholes or arguing about idiotic/contradictory laws.
Now, if a government promised to sort that out, I'd vote for them.
Surely I'm not reading this right. Am I to believe that I can talk to a stranger in a shopping mall (or centre), but only if I have filled in a form?? Does my co-conversationer also need to have filled in a form? How will I know? Do we have to wear badges??
Sorry for the language, but this is fucking stupid!
This comment has been removed due to the commentator not seeking permission to comment four days in advance and giving no clear reason as to what they would be commenting on nor the form their comment would ultimately take. Abuse of the rules will not be tolerated and the police have been informed.
God Bless the United States of America.
... proselytising does annoy or upset a lot of people. Just because he found three people who were receptive doesn't mean that, in doing so, he didn't piss off a bunch of others. Religion has its place and if people are twatty enough to need it then they know where to find it. They should string this fucker up as an example. He could have started a riot.
<QUOTE>Just because he found three people who were receptive doesn't mean that, in doing so, he didn't piss off a bunch of others.</QUOTE>
And it also doesn't mean that a martian passing by in a flying saucer didn't collide with a tree whilst rubbernecking to hear what he was saying, either. But until you find those hypothetical OTHERS, or the Martian, then they may as well not exist, and your hypothetical riot and lynching solution is as much of this world as are your thought processes.
Yes, proselytising can be a nuisance but who is to agree on which kind to ban? Personally sports fans irritate me. I'm also particularly pissed off by salesmen. However, as an adult I am able to put up with all these different kinds of religious fanatics. We have to be tolerant of each other. However, those who believe in "stringing" people up do push the limits of my tolerance a little. :)
It is well-settled case law in the U.S. (and particularly in California) that shopping malls are public places and visitors may freely express opinions and engage in unsolicated conversations with other visitors. Westfield management knew the laws, but appear to have decided to flagrantly violate them. In the U.S., one of the few useful correctives for such lawbreaking is to relieve the scofflaw of piles of cash. Hence the lawsuit. In the U.S., punching a "god botherer" in the mouth in the ujnblinking gaze of multiple security cameras will result in a long stretch in either jail or prison in the company of men or women who will teach the would-be etiquette enforcer a whole new set of social rules, starting with "bend over."
So, all of the comments about trespass and useful yobs and the like are both ignorant and disturbing. People who recoil from the prospect of other people exercising freedom of speech can't reasonably complain when their own freedom of speech is taken away.
And as to this juvenile business of mocking religious people as "god botherers": I feel sorry for you. You are likely so busy making money, buying trinkets, and otherwise filling your lives with empty pleasures that you have no sense of the spiritual aspects of your existence, let alone the capacity to repond to them. This condition is, I think, the worst disability a human can suffer.
... but it's amazing how many 'upright citizens' seem to be so glib about the possibility of a convicted offender being sexually assaulted in prison - you present it almost as if you consider it part and parcel of the punishment, as if it were officially sanctioned.
From simple induction, I conclude that the rest of your beliefs and opinions are likely to be, shall we say, uninformative.
I was with you up to the bit where you started to feel sorry for me and called me disabled because I have no truck with any religion.
It seems to me that religion and spirituality very rarely go hand in hand, or mean the same thing. During my church going days I very rarely encountered any spiritual people in the congregation; or if they were spiritual then they hid it very deeply indeed. Not that I didn't like them but many had no apparent feeling for anything that wasn't in some other remote and invisible part of the world. Anything close by which they could smell or hear then it was just disgusting and there aught to be laws. I live in the woods on the side of a mountain and there is something very uplifting and spiritual about climbing the ridge behind my home as the sun comes up and feeling it on my face, and it has nothing to do with any church or religious organisation. Spirituality to me means seeing and feeling and appreciating the beautiful and the numinous in the world as we experience it, including all those things that religions like to proscribe such as sex and having fun, and not wishing for, or attempting to enforce, some fictional reality that will never be in human existence.
On your property you can make up any rules (policies) you like as long as they don't contravene established state, federal, international, whatever etc laws.
A shopping centre here in Australia a couple of years ago created a policy that you're not allowed to wear thongs (the australian rubber footwear flipflop type thongs), while using the escalators (the moving stairway thingies).
They had legal right to ask and/or force you to leave if you insisted on using the escalators with thongs.
We speculated they only did that to satisfy a discount on their legal liability premiums in case someone's loose footware was to jam within the jaws of death and lose a foot...
They were very much within legal rights to do that. They were also very stupid to try it too.
It lasted barely a month.
It seems that US law has decided that certain types of "private" property are not private in respect of Free Speech rights, as they are to a certain extent public areas.
The Right to Free Speech can be limited (e.g. yelling Fire for no reason in a crowded theatre can be an offence) but only if it is absolutely necessary to do so.
I hereby request permission to talk to people in your mall.
Name: A. Person
Persons(s): Cuties between 20-28.
Topics for discussion: How cute they look. What they are doing in a place like this. If they would like a drink...
Are you selling / giving anything away?: My wild oats
As someone in the Baptist South who gets harassed all the time by jesus nutjobs, I wish all the local malls would emulate this. I've had one old man spit at me because I was carrying a helmet and my "motorcycle is a tool of satan"
I've had women in business suits standing at the local grocery store, handing out business cards. I thought she was a realtor, so I took one, only to discover it was for a local church. I told her "I'm sorry! I thought you were a hooker!"
I had a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses wait for me at my bike so that he could ask me if I knew the Lord, as motorcycling was a dangerous hobby in which to partake. I said "you joined a religion which forbids blood transfusions... you're a fine one to talk!"
That's the sort of freakazoids we get.
>>you joined a religion which forbids blood transfusions... you're a fine one to talk!
Even though there are so many checks on blood; it is a known fact that donated blood damages the immune system. In fact, in BMC Medicine, it was published that in a control group of 25000, twice as many suffered postoperative infections as did those who didn’t receive a transfusion.
Then you look at the regulations of blood usage. Within the country, strict controls regulate how it is received, tested, screened and stored. But your hospital will (and often does) accept blood from other countries, who don't have the same screening practices.
You don't even need full blood! Calledleukoreduction, the removal of white blood cells from donated blood; can be used along with medical filler products with extreme safety. This reduces known risks oftaking full blood on it's own (yes, there are known risks) by lowering immuno problems.
I agree with your point about them peeps, but get your facts right first.
if they weren't the most authoritarian, freedom hating bunch of rogues ever to assemble together, people wouldn't feel the need to slag them off?
What's the problem with the new government anyway? Have they asked you to actually ***GASP*** ***SHOCK*** ***HORROR*** get a job ?!??!?!?!?!?!?!
Yes it is spelt like that lol, didn't notice that
Grow up Martin and get a sense of humor!
If people like you can't see anything wrong with what Labour, sorry Liebour did in 13 years then you are very deluded and out of touch with everyone else who voted for change.
It's people like you who vote for Liebour just because you're a lifelong fan and hold back progress.
I live in Scotland (though I am English) and still heard, during the last election, that many people could never vote Conservative because of Margaret Thatcher.
She hasn't been at the head of the party for 2 decades and hasn't been a politician for almost as long, but that was still the reasoning behind the decision.
Therefore I think it's entirely right and proper to be allowed to slag off a party that only lost power this year and held it for the previous 13 years.
You will notice from history that the conservatives have always left the country richer when leaving office, whearas Labour have usually left it poorer.
Labour tax everything and lie about everything, wasting their time slagging off other mps, rather than take constructive criticism and use it to help the country.
They are a disgrace to the country and serve only to fill their pockets and stuff everyone else
would probably be allowed. Wonder if you have to pay to fill in the 3rd party form?
It is also interesting to note that if someone shouted out support the Patriots (an American football team worshipped by some Americans :) ) they would also have to fill in a form so the issue here appears to be that any form of communication that does not revolve around, "get in to American Eagle there's 50% off or other such commercial speak) is banned by this company. Now that is a step to far.
Imagine standing outside the Houses of Parliament and only being able to talk about politics or going to work and only being allowed to discuss work. Where would our discussions of the weather, football, the opposite sex, etc be held. Pubs could ban us discussing such things and force us only talk about the quality (or more likely lack of it) of their beers and wines.
I think therefore that I stand in support of this bloke who like most scientists was simply propounding standing in support of his own unproven theorie relating to the origins and laws of this universe and possibly others. Wonder if Richard Dawkins has managed to prove his theory of the genetic meme yet??
I pity you. I have the ability to figure out morality from one base principle: a holy man who said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another".
I don't need a book which consists of God getting his followers to do immoral things (the entire Old Testament), which Christ explicitly said should be irrelevant to his followers; nor the clearly-fictionalised parts of what Christ did (easy to find by comparing the Gospels); nor various letters from people who never met Christ slagging off other Christ-followers and replacing Christ's teachings with their own bigoted views (all of the rest of the New Testament). Start from the start, and everything else follows. You could do that too, but you've chosen to abdicate reasoning to a money-making organisation where members of the organisation's hierarchy are not accountable to the people they claim to govern, and are able to freely abuse that position of responsibility. Nice one.
I'd say I'm a fundamentalist Christian in that I believe in the fundamental teachings of Christ. As such, I believe that every organised church - without exception - is heretical to Christianity. Go to church on Sunday if you like, or spout Old Testament nonsense about gays, or repeat Paul's bigoted views of women, but if you do then you're in direct violation of Christ's own ideas on the subject.
It's to do with the prevention of unauthorised persons/organisations from effectively setting up shop within a commercial property i.e. the mall. The tabloid (if that's what it is) is subverting the actuality.
Quite right too (the prevention, that is).
They haven't paid any rent to the owners for the space they're occupying and they're likely to seriously piss off paying customers with their proselytising about imaginary beings. I mean how would you like to walk into <name of supermarket here> for your weekly supply of toilet paper and be confronted by someone trying to force your to do 'Personality Tests', as formulated by a late science fiction writer?
Just a clarification. A mall, while privatly owned, is not a "private" property, in the sence that is it a public place. The difference can be summed thus.
Your house, I can't come in without being invited. A mall is open to everyone, without restrictions. You could, for example, decide you do not like black people for some reason and forbid them from entering your property. While this makes you a racist bigot, it is not, strictly speaking, illegal. (You can prevent whoever you want from getting on your property), where the shopping center isn't allowed to have such a rule.
Another clarification. While you are quite right that you cannot force someone to listen to you in a public place, they are still allowed to come to you and ask if you'd like to talk to them. From the article, the ladies did not mind at all talking about God (or whatever) with the man, so it isn't ask if he was arrasing them (that would be illegal). As such, the staff did not protect anyone who was being arrased and basically barged in to the "private" conversation of people speaking in a public place. That is unlawful.
now let's see everyone point out how wrong I am.
This sky-fairy dude should recognise that he is soliciting clients on someone else's private property. the mall has every right to ask him to leave if he does not comply with their rules
The mall should recognise that the whole citizens-arrest malarkey was uncalled for, and could have dealt with the issue a lot more subtly
Just chill dudes!!!
(and have a beer)
As an agnostic I always give street-corner preachers, door-to-door Jesus-salesfolk, airport Hare-Krishna's, etc. the polite brushoff. I do take the Jews-For-Jesus pamphlets because they're entertaining, although I'm neither Jewish nor a Christ-worshipper. But I've never had a problem with this. People seem to understand pretty quickly that I'm not a very good prospect.
I'm a lot more offended by people trying to spray me with perfumes which will have me sneezing for a few hours, or (back in the day) nicotine addicts who don't understand why, "Yes, I do mind if you smoke". If the guy had a megaphone and was blasting "Christian Music" (most of which seems to be neither, from what I can tell) I'd be offended. But "Have you heard about Jesus?" "No, thank you" and you keep walking ... I don't see the problem. If you don't like that you can't talk to folks at the mall, go to a different mall, in a different State if you must.
Oh that's right, they smoke in Arizona. I guess you have to make your choices and live with them.
The law of course, won't stand up in court (freedom of Assembly is guaranteed in the US Bill of Rights).
And if someone without paying rent to the mall owner tries to sell them stuff, proselytize for a religion, or beg for a handout, kicking such a one out the door is routine and unproblematic in almost any country in the world.
In the U.S., however, I've read of a court case which prevented a major city's subway system from expelling panhandlers from its subway stations.
I find this insane. First Amendment rights protect people from persecution for engaging in political debate. They ensure that newspapers won't be shut down for criticizing the government.
Actions, like making a nuisance of oneself, should not be considered protected speech. That has nothing to do with allowing the people to consider all possibilities when making decisions about political issues.
This is one mall I would never buy from again, were I in that area.
I wouldn't mind a ban on religious propaganda, or solicitation, but general speaking? That's obviously over the line. My wallet wouldn't open even a millimeter in the presence of anyone dumb enough to try and push those rules on me.
I'd stand up for an evangelist, but hey,
"I'd like to talk to you about Jesus"
"No thanks: goodbye"
But... It seems his audience was willing. Had they complained?
It never fails to astonish how some Americans interpret this "land of the free" thing. Maybe China ought to give them democracy... or something.
You may be interested to know that most "shopping centres" (at least here in Oz) and quite a few alcohol-dispensing establishments have a placard at the front listing the "rules" you agree to by entering the premises. One of them is that management reserves the right to refuse you entry or to have you leave the premises without providing justifications.
I'm not sure if this has ever been tested in court, but the fat the signs are still up would tend to indicate that either no-one has yet contested this, or it has been contested and lost.
. . . give a reason, but most will make up any reason they want.
For example, my local (with the backing of all regular patrons), bans anyone wearing burberry (chav's), wearing Lyle & Scott (irritating chav's), having "popped" collars (twats).
Those are the house rules - arbitrary, no basis for anything really, but they get enforced.
* ... getting (political issue or candidate) onto this year's ballot? I'm collecting signatures." Malls have been given the authority to 86 petition signature gatherers.
* ... how Product XYZ has improved my life? I have some samples and information here." Malls have been allowed to show peddlers the door.
* ... a survey I'm doing for a class project? It's only three questions, won't take but a minute." Malls can evict research- gathering students.
* ... ($deity)? I have good news about ($deity)'s plan for you, if you'd like to chat." Apparently these folks get a pass.
In all instances, the solicitors are at the mall for the purpose of selling something and the passers-by could all give a "Sorry, not interested" and be done with it. In each instance there is the possibility of benefit being conveyed to the solicitee (maybe not as much in #3), and in no instance is there harm being done by the asking.
So, why would the pastor have a stronger "free speech" case than my petition passer (who would most likely be booted regardless of how many people chose to discuss the issue/ candidate and sign the petition)?
Snatchko then, unsurprisingly, sued the mall and the security firm, and as the Bee puts it, is seeking "damages in an unspecified amount for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his rights under California's Civil Rights Act"
And this is exactly how many steps away from the kinds of adverts that ask "Have YOU had an accident at work"?
Why is it that - even though the bloke was clearly wronged and the mall would have done naff-all about the problem if they weren't sued - this whole thing just strikes me as rather petulant?
"It seems that US law has decided that certain types of "private" property are not private in respect of Free Speech rights, as they are to a certain extent public areas."
This is actually just California. Federally, well, I know locally I have not seen ANY mall allow people to set up tables.
Anyway... frankly, you Brits that are saying "tolerate religious types", please recall the US is the home of the religious nutter. Of course there's plenty of normal religious types here that would be polite, set up a table and wait for people to talk to them. But if permitted, some will use bullhorns, they'll tell people they are going to hell (not even trying to convert people, just telling them they're screwed), they will go right up to people and not go away even if told to, they will follow people right to their cars. And probably try to slap bumper stickers on them while they are driving away. I have seen people that are like "OK, thanks, I've got to go" (too polite to say "STFU"), and speed up walking a little, they are followed -- speed up more, followed -- basically they'll be jogging and the religious type is still following them talking! The problem this causes for ALL people trying to push a religion is, before long, the "weirdos" will hear somehow that the polite religious types have not been bothered in some location and will start showing up -- therefore, to avoid the weirdos malls etc. end up with a blanket ban.
Anyway.. it does sound like this mall was a bit heavy-handed, if the article is all there was to it. I do question this though -- was he and these ladies having a chat, or where they trying to walk away and he following after them? The main issue, the mall official should REALLY have STFU before saying anybody that wants to talk in the mall must fill out a form!
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