Is there freedom of speech and assembly in Virginia?
OAKTON, Va., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Zealots opposed to a meeting to be held by a Virginia non-profit organization have bullied three hotels into cancelling the event, thus making it impossible for the group to hold its biennial conference. American Renaissance (AR), a monthly magazine that has published on race and immigration for 20 years, had scheduled its ninth biennial meeting for the weekend of Feb. 19 through 21.
Opponents then pressured the hotels -- leafleting the premises, flooding switchboards with phone calls, finding the home phone numbers of hotel employees and threatening them with death -- thus causing the hotels to cancel their contracts to hold the meeting. The last hotel canceled today. More than 250 people had registered for the conference, and guests and speakers were expected from as far away as Britain and South Africa.
American Renaissance has held conferences since 1994. There have been protesters and crank calls, but conferences have always taken place peacefully and successfully.
AR is a race-realist publication edited by Jared Taylor that takes controversial positions:
* That diversity is a source of conflict and not a strength.
* That people of all racial groups prefer the company of people like themselves.
* That Asians are, on average, more intelligent than whites, who are more intelligent than blacks.
However, AR's positions are much less important than what this cancellation means for freedom of speech and assembly.
Any controversial group can be kept from holding meetings by fanatics who -- through the Internet -- decide to gang up on a hotel. If this tactic works against a 501 c (3) educational non-profit like American Renaissance, what is to stop animal rights activists from shutting down a meat-packers' meeting or environmentalists from shutting down miners or foresters?
Freedom of speech and assembly are guaranteed in the Constitution but those rights will be lost if Americans do not fight back against those who would deny them. As Judge Learned Hand put it, "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."
For more information, please contact Stephen Webster at 703-716-0900 or [email protected].
SOURCE American Renaissance