You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / Penn State's 1st Amendment Victims: We Need Freedom of Speech on the Job Too, Not Just at Home!

Penn State's 1st Amendment Victims: We Need Freedom of Speech on the Job Too, Not Just at Home!


By dlindorff - Posted on 11 November 2011

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The real story of the Penn State child abuse scandal and coverup is not Joe Paterno or Penn State, or even the abuse of children, as vile as what happened to them is. What it’s about it the lack of basic freedom for workers in the United State of America to speak out.

 

On paper, we have one of the freest societies in the world. The First Amendment to the Constitution would appear to be pretty damned unequivocal, when it states:

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

And yet, there are all kinds of laws that abridge freedom of speech and the right peaceably to assemble, as well as the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 

We’ve all been witness lately to how municipal authorities, no doubt under pressure from the bankers and from the central government’s police and political authorities, have been “abridging,” with the aid of police weilding clubs, pepper spray and tear gas canisters, the supposed freedom of occupy movement activists to peaceably assemble.   

 

What Penn State has done is expose an even bigger problem: the lack of freedom for workers to speak up or to petition for redress of grievances.

 

This  boy-sex scandal has exposed the bitter truth that we Americans have no freedom of speech once we punch in to a job or walk into a place of work.  And even when that place of work is a public university, where the management is really a part of the government of the state, we workers have no freedom to petition for redress.  For speaking out, or for orally or in writing seeking redress for a grievance, an employee, whether it is a teaching assistant, a professor or a janitor, risks losing her or his job.

 

Because of this lack of First Amendment freedom on the job, corruption, violation of laws and regulations, theft, discrimination, sexual abuse, favoritism and other problems run rampant in government, in universities, and in corporations.

 

People can criticize the janitors, and the teaching assistant at Penn State who reportedly stumbled upon rapes in progress of young boys in the Penn State gym, and can say they should have sprung to the rescue. But had any of them done this, when the alleged perpetrator was one of the most important coaches on a football team that is revered at, and that was generating millions of dollars in revenues for the university, those witnesses had to fear that they could lose their jobs--and probably would have lost them...

 

 

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new award-winning independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/894

 

 

Speaking Events

2016

 

March 24, Boone, NC.

 

March 25, Asheville, NC
Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Square, rooftop room, noon - 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
Sign up on FB.

 

April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Ave (8th and Seneca) 
Seattle, WA 98101
7:30pm
Sign up on FB.

 

April 16 Portland, OR

 

April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
5:30 discussion with students.
7:00 talk and Q&A with everyone.
Sign up on FB.

 

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.



May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.



May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event

 


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

 

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

Other Events Here.

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.