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National Week of Conversation: Free Speech, Fighting Words and Violence

April 6 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm PDT


April 6, 2019 at 7:30 – 9:00 pm ET/ 4:30 – 6:00 pm PT (adjust for your time zone) 





Register at the bottom of this page or click here to go directly to the EventBrite page to register.


Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation. These conversations are open to anyone and everyone –  no prior training or experience is needed to participate. You may find that you have similar views to those in your conversation or you may find that you are as different as can be. It can be a valuable experience to let go of your expectations of what the conversation should be and focus on what it is in the moment. The National Week of Conversation topics have been chosen to encourage participation and allow for everyone to be able to share their own life experiences and viewpoints as well as actively listening to those of others.


Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Free Speech, Fighting Words and Violence.


Some Americans feel violated by flag burning; some by racist rallies. As extremist groups use violence to gain media attention, most Americans oppose the use of violence. “Fighting words” against individuals in public are not protected free speech (see 1942 SCOTUS decision), but the definition of “fighting words” is unclear and has led to inconsistent court decisions (Wikipedia). Should the government restrict the freedoms of speech and assembly of any groups or individuals, and if so, under what circumstances? Is too much tolerance dangerous, or is giving an authority the power to restrict freedom of speech and assembly even more dangerous?


Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:



  • How do we protect free speech and ensure public safety despite ongoing threats of violence?

  • Have you had a personal experience where free speech was inhibited? Or have you ever felt harmed by the speech of others?


You will need a device with a webcam to participate (preferably a computer or tablet rather than a cell phone).


Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket at least 24-hours ahead of time so someone on the waitlist may attend.


A link to join the conversation and additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. You will need to be able to receive the information sent via email through EventBrite. If you unsubscribe from EventBrite emails you will be unable to receive the essential information for this conversation.



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