French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

Bright Shadows
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:56 pm UTC

French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Bright Shadows » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

Spoiler:
A court in the south of France has fined an Algerian man 750 euros (£637; $984) for insulting the national flag - the first penalty under a new decree.

Abderrahmane Saidi, 26, was at a local government office on Tuesday when he grabbed a flag and snapped the pole in two during a row with a clerk.

A July decree made insulting the tricolour an offence punishable by a fine of up to 1,500 euros.

The rule was triggered by a photo of a man wiping his bottom with the flag.

Saidi was sentenced by a court in Nice. It also gave him a four-month suspended prison sentence and ordered him to attend citizenship classes.

Frustrated by a bureaucratic delay, he not only attacked the flag but also threw the broken pole at the clerk's window, AFP news agency reports. Two police officers then restrained him, but he tried to punch them.

The Alpes-Maritimes regional authority, police and the clerk all lodged complaints about his behaviour.

The offending picture which triggered the decree won a prize in a photo contest in Nice in March.

Before the July decree it was only an offence to insult the French flag during a public event.


I'm kind of confused as to why this sort of law is even needed. It's sort of unuseful to the public safety or well being, which basically makes it the government getting pissy at detractors.
Image

User avatar
Kolko
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Belgium/België/Belgique/Belgien

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Kolko » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:09 pm UTC

I'm more confused as to why this law was needed for this case. The man punched a police officer, I believe even in France that's illegal, right?
Environ 20% plus chouette.

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 2205
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Gogledd Cymru
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:11 pm UTC

I don't think you understand what it means to be French... It's just one of the peculiarities of the fifth republic.
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.

Glass Fractal
Posts: 497
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 2:53 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Glass Fractal » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:53 pm UTC

Frankly, I find the idea of citizenship classes for citizens a lot more disturbing than fines for insulting the flag.

The Reaper
Posts: 4008
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby The Reaper » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:Frankly, I find the idea of citizenship classes for citizens a lot more disturbing than fines for insulting the flag.

Aye.

jesseewiak
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:29 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby jesseewiak » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:35 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:Frankly, I find the idea of citizenship classes for citizens a lot more disturbing than fines for insulting the flag.

Aye.


Um, what's wrong with citizenship classes? Did neither of you take civics in high school?

General_Norris
Posts: 1399
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:10 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby General_Norris » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:48 pm UTC

I can't see anything surprising here. By wiping your ass with the flag you are issuing an insult to everything France represents so it's no surprise it's prosecuted. It's not that it's exclusive to France either.

Glass Fractal
Posts: 497
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 2:53 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Glass Fractal » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:03 pm UTC

jesseewiak wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:Frankly, I find the idea of citizenship classes for citizens a lot more disturbing than fines for insulting the flag.

Aye.


Um, what's wrong with citizenship classes? Did neither of you take civics in high school?


I didn't but my real objection is that it sounds so much like sending people off to re-education camps.

alexh123456789
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:56 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby alexh123456789 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:I can't see anything surprising here. By wiping your ass with the flag you are issuing an insult to everything France represents so it's no surprise it's prosecuted. It's not that it's exclusive to France either.


Freedom of speech is highly valued by many people, especially in the USA, so a blatant suspension of this idea that many over here feel is a fundamental right is seen as bad.

jesseewiak wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:Frankly, I find the idea of citizenship classes for citizens a lot more disturbing than fines for insulting the flag.

Aye.


Um, what's wrong with citizenship classes? Did neither of you take civics in high school?


I took civics, but it was basically political science, not a class meant to re mold you into a good patriotic citizen (which is what I'd imagine the French class is, although it's all speculation and maybe somebody can clarify it).

icanus
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
Location: in England now abed

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby icanus » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:28 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:I can't see anything surprising here. By wiping your ass with the flag you are issuing an insult to everything France represents so it's no surprise it's prosecuted. It's not that it's exclusive to France either.

It's dickish to be sure, but I don't see any reason it should be illegal - frankly if I were French I'd be more insulted by my government's implication that France isn't big enough to survive someone doing something nasty to the flag without stomping all over freedom of speech than I would by anything anyone could conceivably do to said flag.

The case in the OP would be illegal even without a flag desecration law, since there was damage to someone else's property followed by assault, but if you want to wipe your arse on a flag that you've bought yourself I don't see how it's anyone else's business (with the possible exception of obscenity or public nudity laws).

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 2205
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Gogledd Cymru
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:57 pm UTC

icanus wrote:frankly if I were French I'd be more insulted by my government's implication that France isn't big enough to survive someone doing something nasty to the flag without stomping all over freedom of speech than I would by anything anyone could conceivably do to said flag.

If you were french, being french would (most likely) represent a big deal, and someone shitting on that would thus be a big insult.

The USA has an intolerably idealistic attitude to free speech; in fact the only thing worse is the incredulous way that americans react when they realise that most european other first world and developing nations have managed to strike a working balance which sits somewhere between absolute freedom of speech and mandatory voice box excisions...
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.

Esquilax
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:56 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Esquilax » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:17 am UTC

Am I the only one wondering why this is fortuitous?
Spoiler:
Image

icanus
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
Location: in England now abed

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby icanus » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:29 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
icanus wrote:frankly if I were French I'd be more insulted by my government's implication that France isn't big enough to survive someone doing something nasty to the flag without stomping all over freedom of speech than I would by anything anyone could conceivably do to said flag.

If you were french, being french would (most likely) represent a big deal, and someone shitting on that would thus be a big insult.

The USA has an intolerably idealistic attitude to free speech; in fact the only thing worse is the incredulous way that americans react when they realise that most european other first world and developing nations have managed to strike a working balance which sits somewhere between absolute freedom of speech and mandatory voice box excisions...

I'm British, which is a relatively big deal to me. When Dave Gilmour's son was caught a couple of weeks ago damaging not just to any union flag, but the union flag on the Cenotaph, I was mostly just irritated that he didn't have a better reason than "I got carried away" (and it's not just because he did it during a student fees protests which I agreed with - I was simlarly unfussed by a youtube video a few months back of some british muslims burning union jacks and stamping on them while proclaiming their intention to destroy the UK, and Jihadist Islam is most defineitely not something I agree with)

I'm not unpatriotic, I have relatives who've fought under that flag in 4 seperate wars - I just think that defending the symbol is pointless and efforts are better spent defending the things it is a symbol of, free speech being one of them.

Plus, I suspect the majority of flag desecrators would be far more distressed by being totally ignored than by being made martyrs.

Aetius
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:23 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Aetius » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:10 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
icanus wrote:frankly if I were French I'd be more insulted by my government's implication that France isn't big enough to survive someone doing something nasty to the flag without stomping all over freedom of speech than I would by anything anyone could conceivably do to said flag.

If you were french, being french would (most likely) represent a big deal, and someone shitting on that would thus be a big insult.

The USA has an intolerably idealistic attitude to free speech; in fact the only thing worse is the incredulous way that americans react when they realise that most european other first world and developing nations have managed to strike a working balance which sits somewhere between absolute freedom of speech and mandatory voice box excisions...


There's a lot to criticize about the United States, but the first amendment is not one of them. The US got it absolutely right, and any nation that prosecutes individuals for a "national insult hurting our feelings" has in no way struck a working balance.

User avatar
Internetmeme
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:16 pm UTC
Location: South Carolina, USA

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:51 am UTC

And this is why nobody likes the French.no offense to any French people here

Also, didn't that Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen have a bit in it about free speach? I'm not from France, so I wouldn't know if it's not legally binding in the same way our Declaration of Independence isn't.
Spoiler:

Bright Shadows
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:56 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Bright Shadows » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:57 am UTC

Esquilax wrote:Am I the only one wondering why this is fortuitous?

One version of the definition is that it's something stemming from chance, another is that it's something stemming from nothing. The person in question was in fact fined over something I see as not a big deal, or, nothing.

Also, I needed another F word, and misremembered the definition.


General_Norris wrote:I can't see anything surprising here. By wiping your ass with the flag you are issuing an insult to everything France represents so it's no surprise it's prosecuted. It's not that it's exclusive to France either.


Insulting France isn't going to dissolve the republic or hurt its citizenry while still on the level of defacing the flag. That really ought to put this outside the purview of the government in my opinion.


TheKrikkitWars wrote:If you were french, being french would (most likely) represent a big deal, and someone shitting on that would thus be a big insult.

The USA has an intolerably idealistic attitude to free speech; in fact the only thing worse is the incredulous way that americans react when they realise that most european other first world and developing nations have managed to strike a working balance which sits somewhere between absolute freedom of speech and mandatory voice box excisions...


Generally I try to find in governments what I can ask of a 5 year old, and also a couple of services that aren't terrible. In this case, as in many others with many nations, there was a failure on that meager level. Is this level of hope idealist? Sure, you could call it that.
Image

Glass Fractal
Posts: 497
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 2:53 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:24 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:And this is why nobody likes the French.no offense to any French people here

Also, didn't that Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen have a bit in it about free speach? I'm not from France, so I wouldn't know if it's not legally binding in the same way our Declaration of Independence isn't.


Article XI - Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious human rights; all citizens may therefore speak, write and print freely, though they may be required to answer for abusing this right in cases specified by law.

So you get free speech but you can still be punished for saying certain things. Sort of defeats the purpose of noting it as one of the most precious human rights.

Bright Shadows
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:56 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Bright Shadows » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:37 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:And this is why nobody likes the French.no offense to any French people here

Also, didn't that Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen have a bit in it about free speach? I'm not from France, so I wouldn't know if it's not legally binding in the same way our Declaration of Independence isn't.


Article XI - Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious human rights; all citizens may therefore speak, write and print freely, though they may be required to answer for abusing this right in cases specified by law.

So you get free speech but you can still be punished for saying certain things. Sort of defeats the purpose of noting it as one of the most precious human rights.

Nah, it can be precious and have exceptions. Yelling "Bomb" in an airplane, or something.
Image

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Xeio » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:53 am UTC

This always kinda worries me on OkCupid a bit when people think flag burning is more offensive than book burning. :?

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:00 am UTC

Xeio wrote:This always kinda worries me on OkCupid a bit when people think flag burning is more offensive than book burning. :?


That would seem rather dependent on the book and flag involved.
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
Shivahn
Posts: 2200
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:17 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Shivahn » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:03 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Xeio wrote:This always kinda worries me on OkCupid a bit when people think flag burning is more offensive than book burning. :?


That would seem rather dependent on the book and flag involved.


My mom once burned a book. I think she said it was to save everyone else from how terrible the book was.

It was some romance novel she'd picked up to read when on vacation and she threw it into the campfire for how absolutely awful it was. And she was LOOKING for trashy books.

Perhaps that is the kind of book burning the people are thinking of?

We can hope anyway.

User avatar
Gelsamel
Lame and emo
Posts: 8237
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:49 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:07 am UTC

Bright Shadows wrote:Nah, it can be precious and have exceptions. Yelling "Bomb" in an airplane, or something.


What if there actually is a bomb?
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

User avatar
cjmcjmcjmcjm
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:15 am UTC
Location: Anywhere the internet is strong

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:35 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:And this is why nobody likes the French.no offense to any French people here

Also, didn't that Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen have a bit in it about free speach? I'm not from France, so I wouldn't know if it's not legally binding in the same way our Declaration of Independence isn't.


Article XI - Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious human rights; all citizens may therefore speak, write and print freely, though they may be required to answer for abusing this right in cases specified by law.

So you get free speech but you can still be punished for saying certain things. Sort of defeats the purpose of noting it as one of the most precious human rights.
[/quote]
The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen is one of the most BS documents ever. It's (quite literally) a neutered version of our Declaration of Independence
frezik wrote:Anti-photons move at the speed of dark

DemonDeluxe wrote:Paying to have laws written that allow you to do what you want, is a lot cheaper than paying off the judge every time you want to get away with something shady.

User avatar
Internetmeme
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:16 pm UTC
Location: South Carolina, USA

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:22 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:And this is why nobody likes the French.no offense to any French people here

Also, didn't that Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen have a bit in it about free speach? I'm not from France, so I wouldn't know if it's not legally binding in the same way our Declaration of Independence isn't.


Article XI - Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious human rights; all citizens may therefore speak, write and print freely, though they may be required to answer for abusing this right in cases specified by law.

So you get free speech but you can still be punished for saying certain things. Sort of defeats the purpose of noting it as one of the most precious human rights.

The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen is one of the most BS documents ever. It's (quite literally) a neutered version of our Declaration of Independence

...and from the looks of that excerpt, with a castrated Bill of Rights tacked on the end.
Spoiler:

User avatar
Jesse
Vocal Terrorist
Posts: 8635
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:33 pm UTC
Location: Basingstoke, England.
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Jesse » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:59 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:
Bright Shadows wrote:Nah, it can be precious and have exceptions. Yelling "Bomb" in an airplane, or something.


What if there actually is a bomb?


Yelling at it will only make it mad.

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 2205
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Gogledd Cymru
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:18 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen is one of the most BS documents ever. It's (quite literally) a neutered version of our Declaration of Independence

Internetmeme wrote:...and from the looks of that excerpt, with a castrated Bill of Rights tacked on the end.


Well, this renews my faith in americans being insufferable when it comes to any discussion of human rights...
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.

General_Norris
Posts: 1399
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:10 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby General_Norris » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:21 am UTC

alexh123456789 wrote:Freedom of speech is highly valued by many people, especially in the USA, so a blatant suspension of this idea that many over here feel is a fundamental right is seen as bad.

You Americans also have laws against slander, public humillation, insults and other "blatant suspensions" of a fundamental right. Insulting the flag means that you insult every French citizen, the army, the police, and so on.

You can't have both the freedom of being able to sleep and the freedom to blast the volume at midnight. I'm not reinventing the wheel, you know.

User avatar
Arancaytar
Posts: 1642
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:54 am UTC
Location: 52.44°N, 13.55°E
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:28 am UTC

Bright Shadows wrote:Nah, it can be precious and have exceptions. Yelling "Bomb" in an airplane, or something.


Yes, it would certainly be dangerous to be caught in the panic ensuing as passengers rush to the exits.
"You cannot dual-wield the sharks. One is enough." -Our DM.
Image

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7605
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:58 pm UTC

Looking around on the net suggests that in the US, laws against flag desecration were considered constitutional up to 1989, and that since then amendments to the constitution are falling only just short of the required 2/3 majority, sometimes reaching it the House but not the senate.

Perhaps unconditional protection of the right to burn flags is not really such a deeply rooted American tradition?

Eowiel
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Eowiel » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

While I think it's dumb and injust to forbid people to express the fact that they don't like the country they happen to be born in, I do want to comment on some people here stating that in the US this wouldn't be possible because freedom of speech is considered invaluable.

While it may be true that in the US there are no laws against this sort of things, it appears to me that the public in the US is less idealistic when it comes to freedom of speech than a lot of European nations that are a lot less vocal about it. For example the wide spread self censoring after 9/11 is not something I would see happening in European nations dealing with same issues. I don't think the media in the UK or Spain have ever felt the need to stop critising the government after the IRA or ETA did some bombing campaign. Also it seems that the public opinion in the US reacts vastly different on what's happening with wikileaks at the moment. The US government is certainly not the only government put to shame by the leaks, but the public in the US is much more opposed to the leaks than the public in Europe as far as I can tell. While in the US people complain about the fact the US interests have been harmed and even talk about treason, the only ones opposed to the leaks in Europe seem to be the politicians themselves. It seems that in Europe people agree more to the fact that freedom of speech may cost something, that even if it may harm the country's interest in the short run, in the long run it's good to expose and criticise the governemnt.

Actually, the only country in western Europe where the public also has this attitude is France, the only difference is that in France it's also legally allowed. On the other had, there is probably no country in the world where the governemnt would have such a hard time to directly (and legally) influence the press as in the US, which certainly is a nice accomplishment. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the US and France have a lot more in common in some areas than they would like.

LtNOWIS
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:21 pm UTC
Location: Fairfax County

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby LtNOWIS » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

In the US, there were flag-burning laws before the Supreme Court struck them down. The 1968 and 1990 Supreme Court cases were both 5-4. Even after that, clear majorities of Congress have supported a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning, including Hillary Clinton. In 2006, they fell one vote short of the supermajority they needed to change the Constitution.

So arguably, flag burning's legality in the US is unpopular and hanging on by a thread.

User avatar
Gelsamel
Lame and emo
Posts: 8237
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:49 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

I'm not American nor do I live in the US but I love this and it makes me admire the protections that are gaurenteed in the US. Even if sometimes some public figures say some silly stuff or it takes a few decades for people to realise how those protections need some patching up to make sure no one is falling through.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

Arrian
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 10:15 am UTC
Location: Minnesota

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Arrian » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:I can't see anything surprising here. By wiping your ass with the flag you are issuing an insult to everything France represents so it's no surprise it's prosecuted. It's not that it's exclusive to France either.


Eh? What ever happened to Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité?

Has the right not to be offended superseded the right to freedom of expression?

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 2205
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Gogledd Cymru
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:54 pm UTC

Eowiel wrote:It seems that in Europe people agree more to the fact that freedom of speech may cost something


My point exactly... If you really need the freedom to insult a country full of people? There's is a price for that... Want to call people names based on their religion? price for that too... Want to set fire to cars and sieze a suburb of paris? There's Cars Remplis de Singes just waiting for you.

No action can ever be without consequence, and Americans seem to (in the main) veer sharply away from speech where the consequence of such actions would be *horror of horrors* having to justify it as protected speech in court. Meanwhile people in nations with supposedly limited speech say pretty much what the fuck they like, and then accept the consequences (be that humiliation in the press, or being brought up on charges, or a fatwa etc...)
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.

Robstickle
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:07 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Robstickle » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:39 pm UTC

Ridiculous, fine him for vandalism fine but for disrespecting a flag? Come on...

Zauderer
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:47 pm UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Zauderer » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:You Americans also have laws against slander, public humillation, insults and other "blatant suspensions" of a fundamental right. Insulting the flag means that you insult every French citizen, the army, the police, and so on.


I'm not French, but I wouldn't consider myself insulted just because somebody does something to the flag of the country I live in (or the flag of the country I hold citizenship of).

Arariel
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:32 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby Arariel » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:40 am UTC

General_Norris wrote:You Americans also have laws against slander, public humillation, insults and other "blatant suspensions" of a fundamental right. Insulting the flag means that you insult every French citizen, the army, the police, and so on.


I doubt there's a law against insults in the U.S.

As for slander/libel/defamation, you have to prove that you have been damaged in some way, typically to your reputation (for example, everyone now thinks you're a dirty whore), but sometimes mental anguish (your feelings getting hurt don't count). In any case, it must be untrue for you to have a case, and no-one has the right to lie with the intent of damaging someone.

It is fine, however, to say something like "I'm not saying the president is a Kenyan, but if he isn't, why doesn't he just deny it?", which is the reason why whiny little bitches like Glenn Beck are still free, but never mind that...

I couldn't find the laws on public humiliation, but most likely it'll be similar to defamation in that damages must be proven.


In any case, the laws all require proof of damages, and while I disapprove of any flag burning at all, no-one is tangibly damaged in the act. In this case, of course, the flag did not belong to Mr. Saidi, so free speech or no free speech, he would still be punishable legally.

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 2205
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:08 pm UTC
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd, Gogledd Cymru
Contact:

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:30 am UTC

Arariel wrote:
General_Norris wrote:You Americans also have laws against slander, public humillation, insults and other "blatant suspensions" of a fundamental right. Insulting the flag means that you insult every French citizen, the army, the police, and so on.


I doubt there's a law against insults in the U.S.


Several places in the US have laws against swearing in a public place, and most have prohibitions on "fighting words", insults so dire that they're deemed to goad another person into a fight, and thus both are punishable if used and could offer a defence to someone you insult with them if they then attack you depending on circumstances.

Zauderer wrote:
General_Norris wrote:You Americans also have laws against slander, public humillation, insults and other "blatant suspensions" of a fundamental right. Insulting the flag means that you insult every French citizen, the army, the police, and so on.
I'm not French

A lot of the French people I know feel very strongly about being French Citizens... It's a national peculiarity of theirs.
Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet,
This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:25 am UTC

So is there any particular reason that free speech should be curtailed here, or is "better than America neener neener neener" what passes for an argument with you?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

morriswalters
Posts: 7073
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: French Flag Insulter Fined Fortuitously

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:10 am UTC

Free speech in the US has never been as free as people like to believe. In point of fact you can commit verbal assault. It might do well to investigate the behavior of the US during WWI. Flag burnings have caused riots and it was only in the late eighties that SCOTUS ruled against flag desecration laws. The treatment of communists during the cold war, the McCarthy hearings in the fifties. Well I could go on and on. As for me, more power to the French, it's their country and they are welcome to it. As an American I believe we have more than enough problems here than to worry about, rather then waste time worrying about the view of the French on their flag.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests