As reported in the LA Times:
Many Occupy L.A. protesters arrested during demonstrations in recent months are being offered a unique chance to avoid court trials: pay $355 to a private company for a lesson in free speech.
The irony is so thick you could cut it with a chainsaw. At a time when our governments are working overtime to figure out new ways to curtail First Amendments rights as much as possible, and at a time when corporations are running more and more of our lives, the city decides to outsource their justice with a free speech class?
Free speech, protest, and civil disobedience are integral parts of American history. Without them, there would have been no civil rights movement, no end to segregation, no right for women to vote, and in fact, no independence from Britain!
Occupiers deserve a huge thank you from all parts of society, for standing up (finally) to the gross imbalance and corruption in our political system.
People like Carmen Trutanich should be ashamed of themselves for this patronizing, insulting behavior. If they spent half as much of their resources fighting against the true criminal actions going on in our midst, we wouldn’t need Occupiers in the first place.