Defend Free Speech and the Rights of Third Parties!
The first complaint against Socialist Action was lodged by a member of the Young Republicans who boasted about his ability to help kick socialists off the campus on his blog. His post ends with, “We already have one Socialist in office we don’t need more, and with the help of The Greater Manchester Young Republicans we prevented another one today.” His blog post can be seen here: http://gmyr.blogspot.com/
In response the campus police told the two volunteers that they were required to remain at their seats at the table, and that if they approached people for signatures they would face arrest. Two police officers were then stationed about 30 feet from either side of the table.
Today the space for open political debate, discussion and organizing is extremely narrow. The arduous but elementary task of collecting signatures to put new candidates and parties on the ballot requires the ability to approach people for signatures – especially in spaces where many people congregate. Most of these spaces are now privately owned. But Manchester Community is a public college funded by tax dollars and student tuition. It is an institution of education where open debate, discussion, and organizing should not simply be defended, but encouraged. Political speech and activity will always be controversial. Simple differences of opinion cannot justify curtailing the right to express political opinions or to seek out like-minded individuals.
Please call and/or e-mail the Dean of Student Affairs and the Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs to express your support for the right to collect signatures and distribute political literature on Manchester Community College’s campus. Please be polite and courteous, but firm. The administrators can be reached here:
Duncan Harris, Dean of Student Affairs
Umesh Vig, Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs
Feel free to contact us for more information at 860-986-9750 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Text from the “disturbing literature” can be read here:
Thank you so much for your support!