16th May 1918 The Sedition Act

The Sedition Act: "Freedom's" just another word

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” states the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Except when it suits Congress. And ninety-five years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson pushed through the Sedition Act of 1918 – a blatant breach of the most sacred of constitutional rights and what historian Geoffrey R. Stone calls “the most extreme anti-speech legislation” in American history.

In the repressive hysteria that followed America’s entry into World War One, the Sedition Act was an even more egregious amendment of the 1917 Espionage Act, which criminalised interference with the war effort or military recruitment. With utter dictatorial disregard for freedom of speech, Congress outlawed any utterance or expression of opinion that cast the government, the flag, the Constitution, military or war effort in a negative light. Dissent of any kind whatsoever was effectively gagged. Pacifists and other outspoken opponents of the war – of which there were many – were branded unpatriotic and disloyal criminals. Over 1000 dissidents were sentenced from 10 to 20 years in prison – often for merely passing out leaflets, engaging in discussion on street corners, or attending a meeting. Eugene Debs, who’d received more than a million votes as the socialist candidate for president five years earlier, attacked Wilson’s efforts to silence dissent: “It is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make Democracy safe in the world.” For this he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

And just like Dubya’s post 9/11 Patriot Act (extended by Obama), Wilson’s bill was used as an opportunistic smokescreen to erode individual liberties of ‘undesirables’ in the name of national security. By criminalising the mere suggestion of any anti-American sentiment, the Sedition Act provided a convenient excuse to target, prosecute and, when possible, deport immigrants, labour activists and radicals – especially anarchists, Wobblies and socialists – whose movements had gained considerable momentum.

As evidenced by Nazi Germany’s heroic resistance movement the White Rose, wartime dissent can be the very essence of responsible and courageous citizenship. And the great irony of the Sedition Act is that history has shown the anti-WWI voices of dissent were in truth the most patriotic of all. As Howard Zinn asserted, in that utterly pointless war where over 30 million died in battle, of hunger or disease “…no one since that day has been able to show that [World War I] brought any gain for humanity that would be worth one human life. The rhetoric of the socialists, that it was an “imperialist war,” now seems moderate and hardly arguable.”

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2 Responses to 16th May 1918 – The Sedition Act

  1. billiam says:

    Charles Harrelson (Woodys dad) also a low-level hitman, is not one of the three tramps but the water has been muddied by powers that be to say he is to create confusion because he IS in those photos, but not a tramp. Charles Harrelson IS in the three tramps photos but is the officer in the rear carrying the shotgun. He is also assumed to be the badgeman. After making the infamous headshot, he walked around the back side of Zepruder touting the assassin was in the TexSchoolBkDep under the cover of his Dallas Police disguise/uniform. The officer in front, in the 3tramps photos, has a KKK patch on his left fore arm. Harrelson then was convicted of a crime he did not commit of shooting federal judge Wood in the 1970′s and was silenced forever to the Supermax prison in Florence, Co. Even his son Woody tried to get him aquitted years after his conviction. He lived there with the likes of Mcveigh, and the biggest names of the worst of the worst until 2o07 days after the EH Hunt deathbed confessions of “natural causes’ only known to the top secret Govt. Multiple assassins as a hit team is what happened lead by Gen. Landsdale funded by Zapata oil money channeled through G.H.W.Bush. These criminals still run our country today.

    After years of researching this topic as a hobby & as an American Patriot, with the power of the internet, recent revelations, and exausting years of research, i’ve gone as far down the rabbit hole as i can go and have came to this unfinished conclusion.

    Can some one please follow these leads and see where else this rabbit hole goes? Because its seemingly endless and i’m no more than a researcher. This information is meant to be guide to the truth which we are now more than ever hot on it’s/their tail. Good luck!!!!!!!!!

  2. Paul Wyrd says:

    I wonder if the passing of these draconian laws are really indications of the erection of more cages around us, or are we just noticing more bars being put up on the cages that already exist? Perhaps we have so many bars now, we don’t really get that much sunlight anymore?!

    Perhaps initially we hadn’t even noticed the erection of these once so subtle, now so evident, cages?

    The natives (in America and elsewhere), it seems, didn’t have cages before the cage-loving Europeans turned up. Caratacus and Boudicca and their FREE people both got very cross when the Romans turned up and started to erect the cages of civilisation around them… Civilisers will say, but you were all fighting, we stopped that. But they were fighting as FREE and WILD people, now most of us are caged and domesticated. Bah bah bah!!!

    So here we all are now. Sitting in our little cages….

    From what I can tell, it is not much use rattling the cage; I have been rattling and a raging (!) inside a cage for a long time now and all that happens is the other domesticated humans look up, look strangely in my direction wondering what the commotion is all about, and then return to eating the ‘grass’ wishing I would leave them in peace.

    Of course, rattling your cage may upset the lethargy of the other inmates. Some might wake up for a moment, but they are all generally of the shared (apathetic) opinion that we cannot change anything. Put up and shut up (what a mind-numbingly domesticated subhuman phrase that is).

    This false notion that we are unable to change anything is a one of the major chains that keep the mass strangled, castrated and impotent. So docile are my people.

    Yet, we have plenty of light to lead us forward like Lucifer out of the Abyss intent on the reclamation of the heavens from the tyrant Jehovah: Each of us Anarchists, outcasts, Pagans, Wyrdos, odd-balls, FREE-thinkers are a light-bringer to the brainwashed. People are crying out for FREEDOM from the depths of their beings, they just don’t realise how enslaved they are.

    So, please keep up this truly HOLY work. Because…

    YOUR PEOPLE NEED YOU!

    :)

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