Campus Free Speech

Asking If 'Big Gov't Sucks' Got This Girl in Trouble with Cops, Kicked Off Campus


Turning Point USA / Youtube

Lauren Cooley, a 22-year-old journalist and conservative activist, canvassed Broward College last week asking students there whether they agreed that "big government sucks." The question soon answered itself: Campus police officers interrupted Cooley, told her that she had to restrict her activities to the designated "free speech zone," and threatened to arrest her unless she left the campus.

Broward is a Miami-area community college and public institution that hosted a debate between Florida gubernatorial candidates Rick Scott and Charlie Crist last week.

According to The College Fix:

She spent nearly 90 minutes there asking students "Hey, do you think big government sucks?" as she worked to find students interested in signing a petition to launch a Turning Point student club on campus, she said in an interview with The College Fix.

As Cooley was leaving the Davie, Florida campus she saw a male student and asked him if he thought big government sucked, and at that point she was told by a campus security guard that she needed to go to the "free-speech area," she said in an interview Friday with The College Fix.

Cooley recorded the incident. The cops insisted that she was not allowed to speak to students about a political topic outside the free speech zone, even though many students—having just attended a political debate—were actively discussing politics out in the open (how shocking!). Cooley was wise enough to ask whether she was being detained and declined to hand over her ID. Eventually, an officer told her to leave the campus at once or be arrested for trespassing.

"Alright," Cooley said as she walked away. "Remember, big government sucks."

"Yeah, I know," the officer can be heard saying in the background.

After being told in absolute terms by a police officer that she was not permitted to speak to students and would be arrested if she remained any longer, Cooley left the campus.

According to The College Fix, Cooley is a resident of Broward County. "It's literally the college my taxdollars go to partially fund," she said.

Free speech zones are pernicious and manifestly unconstitutional staples of many campuses. That a public institution of higher learning would want to prevent a young person from discussing politics with students is inexcusable.

That the cops would aggressively enforce this restrictive policy is even worse.

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  1. Why does this area always make the national news for stupid crap like this? (Though we’re not Miami area. We’re Fort Lauderdale area, which is still bad, but at least it isn’t Miami)

    1. Because Florida is really a third world country.

    2. You people like it this way. You voted away your freedom when we promised you various benefits in return. You never got these promises in writing, and the conditions were such that you had to keep paying us regardless of when, how, or even if the benefits are ever delivered to you. You signed away your right to withhold your tax payments under the above terms over and over again. You cannot even withhold your own money in protest, yet you keep working for us to get that little bit of your own money that we allow you to keep, that little commission we use to motivate you. Peaceful resistance is not possible for you; that’s the way you wanted it.
      Enjoy your free speech playpens or be made to shut your face and fall in line like a good little American.

      1. Who are you calling “you people”?

  2. Big government sucks.


      1. Help me out with something.

        What exactly is a clitdong? Is it just a really big clit? Or is it one of those half clit half penis monstrosities that some hermaphrodites have?

        1. A clitdong is the officer shown in the picture above.

  3. Also: I was restricted by circumstance (in-laws in town) from being on campus for the debate. There was a decent sized protest regarding Adrian Wyllie being restricted from the debate. There were many eye-rolling pictures of free speech zones shared around.

  4. Open a shooting range next to a school?

    Here are the real dangers.

  5. “Yeah, I know,” the officer can be heard saying in the background.

    Self-hating cop.

  6. Campus police officers ? told her that she had to restrict her activities to the designated “free speech zone”

    That’s bullshit, Officers. I’m *charging* people to listen to me!”

    Seriously, I thought these “zones” are unconstitutional.

    1. I’m old enough to remember when the entire country was a free speech zone.

      1. Unless you were black or gay.

        1. Been quite a while since anybody was silenced for being black or gay.

          1. He’s 180 years old.

      2. Are you old enough to remember when it was legal to yell “Fire!” outside a crowded free speech zone?

        1. Does Kent State count?

          1. I thought Kent State was a free fire zone, not a free speech zone.

          2. counts as 4

  7. The Tree of Liberty clearly needs watering.

    1. That’s some seditious talk there, comrade. Why don’t you have a seat in that community patrol vehicle?

  8. So these were then literally the thought police?

    Welcome to Orwell’s 1984.

  9. The entire USA, from sea to shining sea, is a FREE SPEECH ZONE, MOTHERFUCKER.


  10. The cops insisted that she was not allowed to speak to students about a political topic outside the free speech zone

    Where’s our resident little red Marxian, Tony, to lecture us about how our rights emanate from the barrel of the guns of government officials?

  11. What’s the big deal about these “free speech” zones we keep reading about these days ?

    90% of the country lives in a “constitution free” zone these days, according to the DHS.

    1. Where’s the 10% that abides by the Constitution located? I shall like to go there.

  12. “Free speech zones are pernicious and manifestly unconstitutional staples of many campuses.” But until there are “activists” willing to stand up and take the consequences, like many did in the sixties, it will continue and even these zones will eventually be removed.

    1. In other words, if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

      1. This, always.

        “Take sides! Always take sides! You will sometimes be wrong ? but the man who refuses to take sides must always be wrong.” – Lazarus Long

    2. Or continue to be relegated to the most undesirable place on college property, like where the dumpsters are.

  13. I can see how colleges wouldn’t want random people walking around campus pestering students to sign shit. I wouldn’t have liked it when I was in school. They should have just found out if she was a student or faculty and then trespassed her.

    1. Or just shot her….or something…

    2. Pretty sure “trespass” on public property isn’t really a thing.

    3. Why? What’s the big deal? I mean, is your biggest fear in life that someone’s going to walk up to you and ask you to sign a petition? That’s something people have happen all the time.

  14. Cooley seems like a cool gal.

    1. I dunno about cool, but she did play a mean set of bongos during Sunday morning services this week. So she’s definitely versatile.

  15. The term “Free speech zone” seems unintentionally ironic. How is it free speech if it’s restricted to particular people, subjects, locations, and times? You can say whatever you want as long as no one can hear you.

    Has the legacy of the campus Free Speech Movement completely evaporated?
    “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels?upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

    1. This was the goal of the 60’s “free speech movement.” They never sought free speech for all, just for the leftists pushing it.

      Google ‘Repressive Tolerance’, by Herbert Marcuse, for the theory behind this crap. It’s about compromising the Majority by the tiny cadre of Marxists. Go read it. Available for free, a relatively short essay, but refreshingly honest.

  16. I just suspect he did have her id but just refused to show it, claiming it was in her car. Is a requirement to show id on campus unusual? I’d be curious where this would have gone if she’s shown it.

    1. Generally, unless you’re suspected of committing a crime, you don’t have to show ID. Since she was committing no crime, there was no need to produce an ID.

    2. Citizens must carry papers at all times, comrade.

  17. Free speech zone? I thought everywhere within the borders of the US was a “free speech zone”. Since when does a college policy override the US constitution?

    1. When they think they can get away with it.

      That’s why FIRE was formed, to fight this crap.

    2. funny how “academic freedom” once mean a greater degree of freedom than the rest of society.

  18. This isn’t going away until we hit back. In the old days, ‘progressives’ were identified as what they really are, communists. Once outed, their ,Ives were destroyed for their treasonous plans and beliefs. We desperately need to get back to doing that. Their kind need to be afraid to leave the house.

    If you think you can coespxist with them peacefully, then you are a fool. You can’t. Just destroy them where you find them. Any mercy shown to them shall be repaid with the forfeiture of your liberties, and maybe your freedom or life.

    1. Bit extreme there, suicidy.

    2. No, actually progressives started that shit.

      But yeah, destroying our rights to defend our rights would totally make sense to an obvious progressive plant whose purpose is to make libertarians look like wild-eyed nutcases.

      1. I think a lot of people will get behind this when they have finally had enough. Once free of progressives, we can finally have a traditionalist party versus a libertarian larty as the main focus of our national debate. Which is much healthier than an argument that lends validity to modern communism.

  19. I have an honest question that is genuinely rooted in not knowing – what are the rules around resistance to police giving unlawful orders? Yes, yes, I know that as a practical matter, they can still do pretty much whatever they want and you’re screwed if you don’t obey. But, that’s not what I’m getting at. What does the law say? Are people still legally required to comply with their demands even if they aren’t within their rights to make them?

  20. This was a really good example of how to handle things. Cooley did a good job of being cool and level-headed while asserting her rights. The security guard was presumably doing what he was instructed and mostly stuck to that.

    When the BSO showed up they were not interested in playing any of the games. They immediately went for the “lets just get her out of here solution” and basically told the campus security to tell her to leave so they could threaten her with arrest for trespassing. He wasn’t interested in anything about rights or free speech or anything. Just “what can I do to resolve this situation and move on to the next thing.”

    If you are going to pull out your big stick, they did it pretty much as well as you can. They avoided all of the entanglements of who did what and just went straight to “if you don’t leave you will be arrested for trespassing”. Because Cooley was level-headed and in control of herself, she was able to win the day with her video without being assaulted and arrested. Nice job!

  21. Mario Savio would be proud of these “zones”.

    Oh, I know he preached a good line back then. At heart, he was nothing more than a leftist that would fit right in with the garbage that runs these schools today.

  22. I’m becoming a fan of Robby Suave’s articles – well-written.

  23. Campus police officers interrupted Cooley, told her that she had to restrict her activities to the designated “free speech zone”

    This is the legacy of the 1960s student radicals. UC Berkeley offered them a special zone for free speech, and they meekly accepted. Other campuses followed the model. Ever since then the baby boomer believed that free speech was about getting a tiny fenced in area to express your political opinions in, and that everywhere else was subject to the whims of authority. Even as a kid watching this unfold on television I thought it was stupid.

    “Question Authority… in locations approved by authority” is their motto.

  24. The more Democrats we elect the more freedoms we will loose.

  25. My roomate’s aunt makes $71 /hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for six months but last month her income was $12021 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    You can try this out. ?????

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