Some estimated the crowd at nearly 2000, but we do know that hundreds never even made it into the conference room!
For readers who have arrived here for the first time, you might wish to visit our post here last week about the audacity of the Obama Justice Department and the FBI to participate in a meeting that was essentially organized to send a message to Americans that their negative speech about Islam could be considered a crime. The announcement caused a firestorm of media attention.
In response to the news about the event, and within days, Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) and others organized an impromptu Rally for Free Speech.
Here is what Geller said at her blog just after midnight last night:
All eyes are on Tennessee tonight, as the fight for the very soul of America comes to a very small town: Manchester, Tennessee, a town no bigger than 60,000 people. (Almost 2,000 people were there — that’s three percent of the local population.) This was the perhaps unlikely venue for a seminar led by a U.S. attorney and an FBI special agent on how “inflammatory” speech against Muslims violated civil rights laws. Nowhere was it ever explained how there could be honest examination of Islam’s teachings of jihad that wouldn’t be “inflammatory” — and that was just the point.
There were close to 800 people filling the small room to way beyond capacity. The lines were three deep along the wall, with folks spilling out into the hallways — plus many hundreds more outside. Those outside weren’t missing much — unless they were in the mood to be admonished and hectored as xenophobes, bigots and racists by an Islamic supremacist spokesman and two Obama officials who steadfastly refused to address the elephant in the room: the reality of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, no matter how many times the boisterous crowd called them on their nonsense.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian gave a power point presentation on hate crimes and hate speech. From beginning to end it was full of condescension, smears, charges that the crowd was racist, and thinly-veiled threats that truthful speech about Islam could be prosecuted.
Visit Atlas Shrugs for more (and to see more photos).
No punishment permitted for speech that is “hostile to a religion.”
Incidentally, the news of the upcoming event made it to Politico a few ago and a report by Josh Gerstein quotes First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams:
While threats directed at individuals or small groups can lead to punishment, First Amendment experts expressed doubt that the government has any power to stop offensive material about Islam from circulating.
Referring to Thomas Perez’s man US Attorney Bill Killian:
“He’s just wrong,” said Floyd Abrams, one of the country’s most respected First Amendment attorneys. “The government may, indeed, play a useful and entirely constitutional role in urging people not to engage in speech that amounts to religious discrimination. But it may not, under the First Amendment, prevent or punish speech even if it may be viewed as hostile to a religion.”
“And what it most clearly may not do is to stifle political or social debate, however rambunctious or offensive some may think it is,” Abrams said.
Why is this happening in Tennessee? If you are a long time reader of RRW you know that Tennessee is a target of al-Hijra—Islamic conquest via migration. It is also one of the handful of states in the Nation making any attempt to regain its Constitutional rights under the Tenth Amendment and is seriously questioning whether the federal government has any right to import refugees with the expectation that the taxpayers of Tennessee will pay for them.
And, why is taking a stand for free speech so important to our work—because the reason that the UK and Sweden and other European countries are now in the predicament they are in is that their citizens do not have the same free speech rights we do (in fact their governments support Sharia blasphemy laws), and so their demographic death spiral is, in my view, unstoppable.
I’ll update this post as more news comes in from Tennessee….
See the Times Free Press, here.
Here is the view from The Blaze.
How the Tullahoma News saw the story, here.
Janet Levy at American Thinker, had this to report.
Killian’s supposed remarks at US Justice Department website, here.
Killian getting backlash, at World Net Daily, here.