Marc Randazza on the Nazi-salute dog video and hate speech in Europe and the US

April 13, 2018

In his recent CNN article, Marc Randazza shared his opinion regarding a Scottish comedian, who made a horrible joke that could now have criminal consequences.

A Scottish comedian named Mark Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire taught a pug named Buddha to raise his paw any time he said “Sieg Heil.” Meechan posted a video of the pug on YouTube. Meechan said that he made the video and taught the dog to give Nazi salutes as a joke on his girlfriend.

In the video Meechan said that his girlfriend annoyed him by always saying how cute her pug is and he decided to get her back by teaching the dog something that’s not cute.

But authorities arrested Mark Meechan and he is now facing up to 6 months in prison for a hate crime.

The court found him guilty under the Section 127 of the UK Communications Act which prohibits “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, or menacing” electronic communications. Mark shared his video on social media and YouTube which was offensive because of it being “anti-Semitic and racist in nature”.

Marc Randazza imagines how this case would proceed if it had happened on the other side of Atlantic, and notes that even though the United States has the First Amendment, Canada has adopted hate crime laws. For example, when Ezra Levant republished “Mohammed cartoons” in Canada, he faced a complaint before the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

In the US, Marc Randazza believes that the First Amendment protects such freedom of expression, but he fears that more hate speech prosecutions, like the ones in Europe, could be in our nation’s future. “With our growing tolerance for intolerance, I fear, UK-style prosecutions may be on the horizon for us. Even without them, the forces of censorship may simply make them unnecessary by suppressing all speech that someone might whine about.”

Marc Randazza says that if Mark Meechan were a US college student, he probably would be disciplined for such a speech. Marc Randazza recalls an instance when he was accused of hate speech at the University of Massachusetts for putting up a poster of the punk band the Dead Kennedys. The poster featured a swastika covered by a red circle and a line through it, but even though the swastika was crossed out some people were offended.

Today social networks are beginning to take down  “offensive speech” if someone thinks that it is inappropriate. However, different people may determine that the speech is humorous but not offensive.

Even though Marc Randazza agrees that the Nazi salute dog is offensive, Marc Randazza thinks that free speech should be protected, including speech that may be deemed “offensive”.


Randazza: The Legal Battle Over Andrew Anglin Continues

December 5, 2017

An article about one of Marc Randazza’s most controversial and groundbreaking cases  – a case involving the founder of a Neo-Nazi website Andrew Anglin – was published in the December issue of the Atlantic magazine.

The article, “The Making of an American Nazi”, tells the story of the founder of The Daily Stormer: the site that is arguably the leading hate site and neo-Nazi platform on the internet. Anglin is now being sued for allegedly harassing Tanya Gersh, a Whitefish, Montana, real estate agent, and orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against her family.

In April, she filed a lawsuit claiming that anonymous internet trolls started bombarding her family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin wrote a post blaming Gersh for engaging in “extortion” regarding a property sale from Sherry Spencer, whose son is another white nationalist and arguably the face of the alt-right movement. In that post, Anglin shared personal details, including photographs of Gersh’s family and other Jewish citizens of Whitefish, and called on his supporters, the “Stormer Troll Army” – to “hit ’em up.”

Currently, Gersh is suing Anglin for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of a Montana anti-intimidation statute. Marc Randazza is representing Anglin in this case. Anglin is also accused of unleashing a campaign against other Jewish residents of Whitefish, as well as “cyberstalking” and aggressive online trolling of other people, whose identity or views are not in line with his beliefs as a white nationalist.

It’s also reported that apart from committing the aforementioned activities, encouraging his followers and fellow nationalists to share his views online and participate in cyber trolling campaigns; Anglin allegedly continued to grow his audience and supposedly urged them to take their hate from the online to the real world.

Marc Randazza, the managing partner of the Randazza Legal Group, is representing Andrew Anglin. This lawsuit has attracted the attention of legal experts and the public not only due to Anglin’s notorious personality, but because it’s the first time that an internet troll is being sued for his actions.

However, according to Marc Randazza, a well-known First Amendment attorney and a fighter for free speech, restricting Anglin’s online trolling may set a dangerous precedent for the American legal system. As Mr. Randazza commented, Anglin “has every right to ask people to share their views, no matter how abhorrent those views are…this is the shitty price we have to pay for freedom.”


Marc Randazza’s most recent CNN column analyzes U.C. Berkeley’s decision to silence Ann Coulter

April 27, 2017

See Dear Berkeley: Even Ann Coulter deserves free speech.

There has been a wave of violent outbursts against conservative speakers during the 2016 election season, including violent protestors at Berkeley driving Milo Yiannopolous off campus a few months ago.

Berkley’s reaction? When the Berkeley College Republicans invited Coulter to speak, Berkeley canceled it, citing the recent violent outbursts as the reason. Marc Randazza explains that Ann Coulter suggested disciplining the students that engaged in violence, but Berkeley decided instead to reschedule the speech on a day when no students were on campus.

This is censorship.

Marc Randazza says that some people on the left feel, “emboldened by a view that ‘we’ are right and the Right (is) wrong,” and goes on to scold the left: “Shame on the Left for tacitly condoning this culture of violent suppression of views it disagrees with.”

Marc Randazza reminds us that we don’t need a First Amendment for speech that neither challenges, nor offends, because sometimes that very challenging and offensive speech fosters growth.

Marc Randazza points out that the left used to be beacons for free speech, and credits a few well-known liberals for defending Coulter’s right to speak in the column:

“Are we living in an alternate reality, one in which Bill Maher and Bernie Sanders are sticking up for Ann Coulter?

What could have caused this rip in the space-time continuum?

The so-called birthplace of the free speech movement, the University of California at Berkeley, has once again engaged in liberal censorship, this time of Ann Coulter, using the fear of violence as cover to suppress a voice it did not like.”

Read the rest here.