Debate Info

Yes. No.
Debate Score:3
Total Votes:3
More Stats

Argument Ratio

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 Yes. (2)
 No. (1)

Debate Creator

coachkevinhe(33) pic

Deadly Rally?


You are the mayor of Charlottesville, Va. Months earlier a far-right activist organized a rally in your city that turned violent. Your city was targeted in part because it had recently renamed a public park that used to honor a Confederate Civil War general. The park is now called Emancipation Park, and the city has also announced plans to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from the park. Many of the individuals and groups drawn to the rally were neo-Nazi and white nationalists. White nationalists advocate for the supremacy of white races over other races.

Your city made some efforts to limit the impact of the rally, including a last-minute attempt to relocate it to a larger park to accommodate more people and move it away from the high-traffic downtown area, but a judge ruled that this move violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights to speech and assembly.

On the day of the rally, as the crowds of protesters and counterprotesters grew, they spilled out of the park and into the downtown streets. Protesters from white nationalist groups, counterprotesters and some bystanders were injured when participants began hitting each other with sticks and spraying chemical irritants. A counterprotester was killed and many more injured when a self-proclaimed white nationalist drove his car into a crowd.

Now the same group wants to return to your city to hold a one-year anniversary rally. Your city manager denied its application for a permit, citing the city’s lack of resources to keep all citizens safe regardless of their views. But the organizer of the rally is now suing your city for the right to hold his Unite the Right rally there, claiming you are discriminating against the content of his speech, which would violate the First Amendment. He argues that violence erupted at the original protest because of poor planning by city officials and because law enforcement failed to keep counterprotesters away from the rally participants.

Should you change course and grant the permit for an anniversary rally?


Side Score: 2


Side Score: 1

Unfortunately, I'm going to side with the law on this one. They are still permitted to have their arranged moment for free speech. As the government can't outright deny them their chance to speak, only allocate the time & place, as well as making the necessary adjustments to civil operations. Road closures, traffic reroutes, everything like that.

The main issue here, is that someone is most likely going to point out how it was the city's inability to contain the counter protestors. That lead to much of what happened in the original brawl, especially when they allowed counter protestors to apply for their own permits, and then just watched as they broke with those assigned boundaries. Almost directly charging the Rally from across open ground. They'll also note how the city was unwilling to keep more dangerous elements out of the event. Because a large assortment of illegal/improvised weapons were seized from the counter protestors. One person even bringing a home-made flame thrower.

Like before, this is going to be one of those hot-button issues.

As a country, we have laws that are to be abided by, and as it sits. Before the rally devolved into a full brawl, it was the Unit the Right members who were abiding by it, and even with the few instances of localized fighting before hand. It was more common to see them be the recipient of an attack, and not the instigator.

Though this was most likely by their own design: remain as defensive as possible, and don't go out of the way to attack anyone. Going by who organized the rally. I really wouldn't be that surprised with that occurring.

Side: Yes.
1 point

I'm going to side with the law on this one. They are still permitted to have their arranged moment for free speech.

Hello Dr:

Huh? I'm gonna side with the Constitution on this one.. The very notion of NEEDING a permit FROM the government to exercise one's Constitutional rights, is the exact OPPOSITE of free speech..


Side: Yes.
1 point

No because, as stated by the city manager, lack of resources to ensure protection of innocent by standers. The spread of violence could spread if the surrounding people agree that the anniversary would only promote anger and tension between each other.

Side: No.