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LOCAL News :: Arts & Culture : Civil & Human Rights : Gender & Sexuality

PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

Sunday, Sept 11 -- Holding signs and distributing literature, several dozen people protested in front of the Catalyst nightclub where reggae artist Sizzla was playing that evening. In his songs and stage dialogue, Sizzla has repeatedly called for buring and shooting queers and he brags of doing it himself.
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Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

Wake up! Unpopular speech is still free speech! When civil rights are allowed for some and denied to others based on a popularity contest between competing idealogues, everyone suffers. Wake up! Censorship is wrong! Everyone has the right to express their views, that those views may be confirmed or refuted in open dialogue. This attack on artistic freedom will cause a chilling of free speech.

"I Don't Like Them" versus "Let's Kill Them"

There is a real difference between expressing one's views and urging others to commit murder... a real BIG difference.

In theory, speech may not be suppressed or punished -- BY THE GOVERNMENT -- unless it is intended to produce "imminent lawless action" and it is "likely to produce such action." Otherwise, the First Amendment protects even speech that advocates violence. This is known as "the Brandenberg test" and is the law today. It is a two-prong test which requires: (1) Intent, and (2) Likely To Produce "imminent lawless action."

In the case of Sizzla, even his most offensive, hateful song lyrics would be unlikely to qualify. Maybe you could argue that he had the intent, but the likelihood of its actual immediate occurrence seems exceptionally slim.

On the other hand, consider the words spoken to a large crowd in Jamaica in 2004: "they urged the audience to 'kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead, put up his hand'" [note: it is not clear from the Amnesty Intl report precisely who spoke these words; it may have been Capleton, rather than Sizzla.]

Where a speaker is directly urging a crowd to engage in violence, then we likely reach the first prong of "intent to cause imminent lawless action."

The second prong would require us to determine the likelihood that such actions would occur as a result of the speech. If there were no "openly gay" people at the concert, then the likelihood would probably be low. Whereas, if there were a group of gay protesters nearby, then the speech could reaonably be construed to have both the intent AND the likelihood of causing imminent harm. At that point, in the US, the government could legally intervene...

But again, that is all about _government_ prohibitions upon individuals' speech. That is totally different than private persons urging other persons and businesses to not support nor promote a particular viewpoint (in this case, one which encourages murder of queers).

Urging individuals to not support hatred is NOT censorship.

Urging businesses to not support, promote and/or profit from hatred is NOT censorship.

Threatening to picket/boycott businesses that support, promote and/or profit from hatred is NOT censorship.

Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

I'd post something, but notice the difference pretty much put it perfectly. I think it is important to note that the protesters were not preventing sizzla from playing but instead using their free speech to help inform others. Sizzla cannot shield themselves in a cloak of artistic freedom to shoo away anyone that does not like their music. If I don't like a song you write because you advocate violence then I should be free to express my contempt for such music.

Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

yep, that's almost a cliche - to act like protesters are trying to deny free speech rights or 'censor'. First of all, the first amendment only applies to the relationship between the government and citizens (i.e. you have the right to tell someone to shut up), and secondly, disagreeing with or countering someone saying something bad does not censor them.

Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

How would "Sizzla" feel if a white supremacist band came to his town and sang about murdering black guys? Would he give them a big hug and thank them for exercising their "free speech'?

The same "free speech" excuse used to justify anti gay hate speech is used by the male dominated porn industry.

The ACLU calls porn "free speech" even though many images are of real women being raped and beaten. Many women in porn are NOT actresses who are faking the abuse.

So, the porn industry advocates (and is a training manual) for violence against women just as Sizzla encourages and advocates violence against gays—but thats "OK"— its just "art" and "free speech"

What a crock.

Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred


Please be respectful of the discussion at hand. Please don't change the subject. We're not talking about porn movies. Just because "free speech" is mentioned does not give you carte blanche to shift the subject onto your pet topic. If you want to talk about it, that's fine. But do it by starting your own discussion, rather than hijacking someone else's.

Re: PIX: Protest Against Catalyst and Sizzla's Hatred

Actually, "Porn is Boring," Elaine wasn't "hijacking" anything. She was making what is known as a comparison. This device is often used in essays and pov writing to illustrate a point.

In this thread, she appropriately used the subject of porn and free speech and related it to Sizzla and free speech.

That's not hijacking. It's good writing.

Sizzla´s Songs don´t mean Murder

Sizzla doesnt mean really phisically "burn" when sings it on his songs. For rastafari the fire purifies, but not the fire of the guns or the powder, the fire within your body, the I&I, and what many may call soul. im not against gay people, but i dont like people to exagerate and say he want to kill them. they dont like gays so what they are saying is they should be purifed and cleansed. im sure in that hes wrong, people can be good or bad no matter how they choose to develop their sexuality. but as i said, dont exagerate, because of sizzlas musica speaks about love, goodness with nature, and fighting againt this system, the poverty and misery


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