On January 2018, more than 200,000 protesters took to the streets of New York in one of the largest women’s march as hundreds of thousands from other parts of the country joined in the protests. According to Chira (2018), the protest came one year after millions of people turned up for the Women’s March 2017 to protest Trump’s inauguration. Among various issues raises, the demonstrators poured into the streets to express their frustrations with Mr. Trump’s policies. Several speakers urged the women to channel the energy into helping Democrats win the race in upcoming midterm elections. For the women, a majority of them protested against sexual harassment and the attempt by Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood.
Notably, alongside the protests in New York, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles noted that at least 600,000 protesters attended the march there, while in Chicago, it was estimated that at least 300,000 people attended the event (Chira, 2018). In Washington, Philadelphia, and Austin among other cities, thousands of protestors turned up for the March. In other parts of the world, protestors assembled on the new site of the U.S embassy in London declaring Trump, a “racist bigot” and urged Theresa May to cancel their meeting at the World Economic Forum. On Saturday afternoon, Trump wrote in a tweet that seemed to celebrate the demonstrations despite the anti-Trump messages (The New York Times, 2018).
Censorship is the suppression of free speech or communication based on the material being considered politically incorrect, sensitive, or harmful by the government or community. In the United States, free speech is protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment and set a high bar for the courts weighing restrictions (Wolfe, Lin, & Rigby, 2017). The constitution also allows hate speech and protects people using denigrating speech on people based on their race, gender, or sexuality. Thus, the strong protections on freedom of speech and expression against the federal, state, and even local government are rooted in the First Amendment, which means the government has no right to censor protests.
Chira. S. (2018). The Women’s March Became a Movement. What’s Next?. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/womens-march-metoo.html
The New York Times. (2018). Women’s March 2018: Protesters Take to the Streets for the Second Straight Year. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/womens-march.html
Wolfe, J., Lin, A., & Rigby, B. (2017). Factbox: When can free speech be restricted in the United States?. Reuters. Retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-virginia-protests-speech-factbox/factbox-when-can-free-speech-be-restricted-in-the-united-states-idUSKCN1AU2E0
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