You’re invited! We’re talking Charlie Hebdo & NJ arrest at our free speech forum this Thursday

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Editor’s note: Comedian Aman Ali was planning to participate in Thursday’s panel; unfortunately he had to cancel due to a last-minute work conflict. 

We agree with First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams: the murders at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are  “the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory.’’ Thus we have decided the best response is to engage, and so we have organized Courage Under Fire, a forum on free speech at home and abroad, to be held this Thursday, Feb. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the NJ Historical Society, 52 Park St., Newark.

Our forum, which is free, will revolve around two topics:

  • The free speech issues raised by the debate in American newsrooms over re-publishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that many Muslims found offensive. We have speakers with strong opinions on both sides of the issue, including Aman Ali, a comedian/storyteller that many people know from HBO and NPR; Seton Hall Law School professor and author Thomas Healy; and Bruce Rosen, a top New Jersey attorney who frequently appears in New Jersey Supreme Court and other courts on media law issues.
  • The arrest of a New Jersey news photographer who refused to surrender his video camera to police last month, an event that went viral on YouTube.  The journalist himself, Andrew Flinchbaugh, will be present as will as his ACLU attorney, Ed Barocas, who has dealt with this sort of issue several times in New Jersey, as legal director for the NJ-ACLU. We’ll take a look at Flinchbaugh’s video (the camera was rolling throughout the entire confrontation) and talk about what journalists and citizens need to know about the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment issues that are raised by the incident.

To register and to learn about our speakers, click here. Hope to see you there!


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