Last Updated:July 24 @ 12:15 pm

The Difference Between Free Speech and Vandalism

By GOPUSA Staff

Here's a perfect example of how left-wingers think. Imagine there is a poster that some left-wing moonbat disagrees with. The poster, mounted in a public place, is an expression of free speech. But does the left-winger put up a similar poster? No. Instead, the person finds it perfectly acceptable to vandalize the poster all in the name of her "free speech." These people just don't get it.

This story has to do with Mona Eltahawy, a left-wing activist, who is also a darling of CNN and MSNBC. As reported by NewsBusters.org, Eltahawy is a former Reuters correspondent... yes, a professional "journalist." She and four others were arrested in New York earlier this week for vandalizing signs. Here's the story from the New York Post.

Eltahawy -- whom The Post videotaped spray-painting one of the ads in Times Square -- was one of five people arrested in Manhattan Tuesday for allegedly defacing the subway signs.

The other four -- Leena Widdi, 19, Sherry Wolf, 47, Kenneth Chan, 22, and Emmanuel Pardilla, 21 -- were caught obscuring an ad in the 49th Street N/R/Q station, cops said.

They were charged with violating local law and unlawful posting of an advertisement. They all received summonses.

Unlike Eltahawy -- who got a small amount of spray paint on a woman who tried to stop her from defacing the ads -- the others were not detained overnight.

Here's the video:

She calls it a "non-violent protest," but it's just vandalism.

As NewsBusters.org reported, CNN's take on the whole story was to frame Eltahawy's "activism" and expression of free speech as equivalent to those who lobbied to put the signs up:

Check out this New York Post video. That is activist Mona Eltahawy, tussling with the woman holding a mounted camera. Eltahawy calls what she is doing an expression of free speech. That's the very argument supporters of the posters used to win the right to put them up. Three of the 10 posters at various subway stations were ripped or defaced during the first day that they were up.

If Eltahawy wants to express herself... have at it. Hopefully no one is listening anyway.

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58 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    September 27, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    Just one more example of the Democrat version of the American terrorist party whose Pilot continues to fly the ship of state into the American Twin towers of Personal responsibility and individual freedom.

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    • calradoComment by calrado
      September 27, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

      Another moron taken off the streets for a little while! How would she like it if I spray painted her with red paint as a “non-violent protest”?

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    • KBBComment by KBB
      September 30, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

      This just plays into the example of left-wingers’ intolerance to the point of wanting to ban whatever they don’t agree with. For instance, if a liberal thinks eating meat is bad for them, they want to ban meat for everyone, whereas a conservative simply will choose not to eat meat. As for “these people just don’t get it”, they get it. They just have a very short fuse, and being very immature, regardless of their chronological age, they act on their anger – similar to children who don’t know how to channel their negative energy. They really are “brats” in every sense of the word.

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  2. KBreedlove50Comment by kbreedlove50
    September 27, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    This just goes to show that free speech is only for the Left, everything else is hate speech.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      September 27, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

      “She calls it a “non-violent protest,” but it’s just vandalism.”

      Vandalism by its very nature is “violent”, so this woman should be tried and jailed. If this type of left-wing behavior isn’t dealt with, some of these people may eventually be shot by the owner of the property being vandalized.

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  3. fallschComment by fallsch
    September 27, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    What an obnoxious person. Destruction or vandalism of property you do not own is not protected free speech Mona. She’s a typical liberal. She commits a crime and then screams she’s being oppressed when she’s arrested. The sad thing is people will come to her aid.

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    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      September 28, 2012 @ 8:59 am

      they would have had to come to her aide if she sprayed me with that dam paint.
      these are the very people we will be at war with along with the muslims.
      mark it down!

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  4. cynicalpeteComment by cynicalpete
    September 27, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    Libel and slander should not be included in free speech,

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    • Ollie_FanComment by Ollie_Fan
      September 27, 2012 @ 10:00 am

      Please explain. Is it only libel and slander when it’s focused on anyone other than Christians or Jews?

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    • Phil WeingartComment by Phil Weingart
      September 27, 2012 @ 10:57 am

      If it is slander, then it is actionable in court, which is the legal remedy our nation offers to respond to slander.

      Of course, a contrary opinion is not slander simply because it is contrary — to sane adults. But to Leftists, the fact that somebody DARES to disagree with The Incomparable MEEEEEeee produces such psychic pain that it immediately constitutes “slander,” and justifies any and all attempts to silence the offender.

      I’m pretty sure that’s what is behind your ridiculous claim that “slander” has anything to do with this incident.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      Cynicalpete,,,,or is that Sin Able Pete,,,Refute the argument,,,,which you cannot,,,so who is the liar, and who slanders our Constitution by bearing false witness to the enforcement of its tenets which he swore an oath to uphold. Obama should never have been allowed to swear on Lincoln’s Bible to an oath of office he distains while protecting the feelings of Muslims and the tenets of the Koran over our Christian baased sacred American documents.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

      Where were the libel and slander? Was there anything in the sign that was arguably false?

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    • WarpfieldComment by Warpfield
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

      Don’t feed the trolls.

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    • nickster99Comment by nickster99
      September 27, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      I remember years back when Harold Washington was Mayor of Chicago. After he died some “ARTIST” displayed a picture of him scantilly dressed in woman’s under wear in the Chicago Art Institute of Chicago as artwork. All the black Aldermen and Alderwomen went bananas! They ripped it down and they and the City of Chicago were sued! They paid a mighty hefty bill for that piece of vandalism! The courts do work! Thank God!

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    • neonbudComment by neonbud
      September 27, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

      The Ad stated:

      IN ANY WAR BETWEEN
      THE CIVILIZED MAN
      AND THE SAVAGE SUPPORT
      THE CIVILIZED MAN.

      Support Israel

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    • RPComment by RP
      September 28, 2012 @ 8:43 am

      I fail to understand how a group of barbaric cowards that revel in attacking innocent people and killing them, is somehow called slander or libel when the truth is told about them? Why do these backward cowards that rape their goats, camels, and sheep and live in the third century; think they are somehow superior to the rest of the world? Somehow they are above criticism and they can freely kill those that disagree with them.

      We have found how brave these religous terrorist really are. Somehow, flying planes into buildings with innocent people inside the buildings as well as the planes, is considered a great military victory to them. Yet when our military will destroy a target that has human shields in them to protect the cowards, we are looked at as some sort of monsters.

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  5. John DoeyComment by John Doey
    September 27, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    The ad is slandering an entire ethnic group as savages and shouldn’t be part of “free speech” in the first place.

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    • wolfComment by wolf
      September 27, 2012 @ 10:21 am

      Muslims are not an “ethnic” group. It’s a religion. Religions get slandered around the world every day. The difference is…Muslims appear to be the only ones who blow sh^&*t up in response. I’d call that savegry.

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    • Phil WeingartComment by Phil Weingart
      September 27, 2012 @ 11:04 am

      But it IS part of free speech.

      And if it is slander, then it is actionable in court, which is the legal remedy our nation offers to respond to slander.

      But in no case is it justifiable to deface an advertisement simply because you disagree with it, even if your disagreement is so deep that it causes you pain.

      We are quickly becoming familiar with the claim by Muslims that because they do not respond well to criticism, we must alter our laws to protect their feelings. Infants make similar claims. Smart parents keep the limits in place and teach the infants to suffer in silence the pain of being restricted for their own good.

      Learn to accept criticism of your point of view, or live somewhere else.

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    • 83ragtop50Comment by 83ragtop50
      September 27, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      I agree with Wolf. jihadist ARE savages. My dictionary defines a savage as “a fierce, brutal, or cruel person”. I beleive this describes a jiadist to a “T”. But, alas, there is no longer a right to speak the truth in a poltically correct – liberal – culture. IMO this whole scene was a ploy to call attention to vandalism so the liberal media could blow it out of proportion.

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    • rhetapComment by rhetap
      September 27, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      Was the word Muslim even mentioned in the ad?

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

      Islam is a political organization disguised as a religion and is in no way a race of humanity. These devils come in all colors and all stripes,,,usually with a yellow one down the back where they strap on their bombs that murder the innocent as well as the guilty. With them it is either submit or the sword, and only use Democracy long enough to gain a single majority vote whereupon your Democracy dies at the hand of the incoming Sharia law. They care not for the redemption of your soul in heaven but only the power they can claim over your soul on earth. Separation of Islam religion from state is unacceptable to their political ideology of conquest.

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  6. Ollie_FanComment by Ollie_Fan
    September 27, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    Two points.
    1. The term “Left-wing activist” and “journalist” in the same sentence. Yeah, sounds about right.
    2. Can someone post me Eltahawy’s home address. I feel like doing a little “peaceful protesting” myself.

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    • jdomke1Comment by jdomke1
      September 27, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

      So, by her brainless method of thinking, Christians can show up at their local Planned Parenthood office and start spray painting their signs, building and people. This would be considered a “non-violent protest” as well. Right Mona?

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  7. 3up3downusmc85Comment by 3up3downusmc85
    September 27, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    Jihadists have declared a holy war (Jihad) and sworn to destroy Israel and all Israelis because they are Jews. Israel has not declared war on Islam or Muslims.
    Seems pretty savage to me. Would those of you calling this slander and libel have also spoken out against a similar ad condemning the actions of Hitler’s Third Reich?
    Apparently so.

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  8. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    September 27, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Her so-called protest merely gives more weight to the “savage” argument. A non-violent protest would have been to stand in front of the sign to block it from view. Or maybe pass out literature explaining why the sign is offensive. Defacing it is childish. But then again, the liberals want the government to care for them so they don’t have to ever grow up.

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  9. pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
    September 27, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    I think the appropriate punishment for Ms. Moonbat (sorry, I forgot her name already) would be to give her an all expense paid visit to the remote region in Afghanistan where my son served. There she could experience the numerous glories of living as a woman under a muslin regime.

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    • bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
      September 27, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      The message on the poster is not the issue. Lefties just protest and dramatize Rightie material. Profanity almost always puts a seal on it too as you heard. Profanity is a feeble mind trying to express itself forcibly.

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  10. June GagnonComment by June Gagnon
    September 27, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    This “vandalizing protester” claims to be “Egyptian-American”; obviously she “still holds allegiance” to her home country of Egypt – -therefore, she should go back there (and stay)! It’s obvious she holds NO allegiance to America; we can do much better without her, and others like her! Time for all of “them” to go back home.
    Most “hyphenated Americans” come here, seeking a “better life” and immediately try to change America into that which they have “escaped” from. Since they are “unhappy” with conditions in their old “home country”, they should ALL go back home and change the old country into “a free Constitutional Republic”, such as ours!

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  11. billwvComment by billwv
    September 27, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Another good vacation spot for this ‘poser of womanhood’ would be the border between Israel and Syria. She could learn first-hand what it is to be oppressed and downtrodden. Needless to say while the U. S. gives rights to each person; responsibility and respect for the other persons rights need be recognized. [I have heard said: "Your rights end where my nose begins."] Respectfulness of others has to play into our rights and actions. LOCK her up for vandalism. Let her PAY a hefty FINE.

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  12. Rhonda Renee AlbrechtComment by Rhonda Renee Albrecht
    September 27, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    You’re either Eygptian or you’re American of Eygptian descent… you CANNOT be Eygptian-American. Choose, Mona! If you’re American, then follow the laws of America, which you violated the state of New York’s laws by committing vandalism and graffiti. That was not freedom of expression or free speech, because you were intent on obliterating the free speech of someone else, not being creative with artwork, et al. If you’re Eygptian, then go home, back to Eygpt!

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  13. Sandi DanskinComment by Sandi Danskin
    September 27, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    She is purported to be a Muslim – note how she is dressed. Very “un-Muslim-like.” i wonder how she would like to live in a Muslim-ruled nation. She could not go about town unescorted by a male relative. She could not dress the way she is shown in this photo – she would have to wear a burkah and veil. She would have to remain shuttered in her home so that no one could peek in her windows and see her. She would be subject to “virginity checks” and she wouldn’t be allowed to purchase a can of spray paint to do anything at all with it, including repainting her own home. She would be totally subservient to her male relatives, and if she has none? Well, then the leader of the community would have to be her “guardian” because no woman can live on her own, work outside the home, or have free speech choices. So, she claims to be a peace-loving, free speech-loving Muslim, eh? What a fraud!

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  14. agnesdayComment by agnesday
    September 27, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    Slander is saying things that are untrue with the effect of harming the subject of the utterance. Saying something true that harms the subject of the utterance is detraction, and it is not legally actionable.
    Reminding the world of a vitally important, though unpleasant truth is neither of these things. This is what the nation of Israel is trying to do. If we are wise, we will listen and act upon what they are saying, because jihadists want to take over our nation after they destroy Israel.

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  15. vevaComment by veva
    September 27, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    The real problem here is that too many people don’t understand what “Freedom of Speech” means, and the failure of parents and elementary school to teach it. By 8th grade every student should know and understand the Amendments to the Constitution. Parents should start early at home, teaching each child to consider each of her or his sibling. Simple.

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  16. Jim OsbornComment by Jim Osborn
    September 27, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    The one aspect of the story that confuses me is: what was the content of the ad that Mona had a serious gripe with? The camera angle was not very good about this.

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  17. kelstepheComment by kelstephe
    September 27, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Mona can go and live with the Savages if she loves them so much. Lets see how long that lasts. People like that don’t need to be in this country anyway

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  18. Jota_Comment by Jota_
    September 27, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    This is nothing more than censorship, Mona Eltahawy getting in the last word by silencing all others.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

      I’m glad she got arrested.

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    • cgretiredComment by cgretired
      September 27, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

      Actually, the poster will get a lot more exposure as people come to read it and, after seeing Mona’s actions via video, these people will realize that she is nothing more than a vandal, a crazy left-wing wacko.

      I’m glad she did it. Exposed for what she really is and what she really represents.

      You go girl… go right to jail!

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  19. oleteabagComment by oleteabag
    September 27, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    And these are the same people who always wring their hands and agonize over how “violent” the Tea Party is, how they incite violence, racism, etc. etc.

    NOTHING could be further from the truth–they are looking in the mirror, and projecting their own character on the Tea Party. All the violence, hateful rhetoric, etc. that I have seen in this election season has come from the leftwingers, not the Tea Party–and yet they continue to harp on how “violent” and “racist” Tea Party supporters are. Even worse, a lot of the sheeple are buying this hogwash, and have no clue what the Tea Party is about.

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  20. norditeComment by nordite
    September 27, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    Obama and Democrats are still much better than a vulture capitalist that sends our jobs to China.

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    • 83ragtop50Comment by 83ragtop50
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      And you really think that Obama and the occupy wallstreet crowd are going to provide you with a job? Last time I looked the government could only print money not create the value behind it. (But it does take a very healthy chuck of change from those 51% of us who pay income taxes.) But those big bad corporations like Microsoft,Apple, General (Government) Motors, Catepillar, Boeing, … that truly build wealth for their workers need to be shut down so everyone can live on their Obababucks. You can’t be serious.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      September 27, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

      Go back to reading Media Matters.

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  21. LAPhilComment by LAPhil
    September 27, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    I guess she thought she was really going to accomplish a lot by spray painting over that sign. Way to protest, Mona!

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  22. mikuslawComment by mikuslaw
    September 27, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Your article addresses the wrong of the defacing of a political poster. However, we should be far more concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United giving corporations the same political free speech rights as living human beings and the huge resources of such corporations, both foreign and domestic, to influence the outcome of our elections. Regardless of political affiliation we should all rise up and move to amend the Constitution because corporate cash trashes my political free speech, my one vote, and my free press in the very ways our Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, feared corporations would do if they were given the same political speech rights as human beings. There is a huge difference between spray painting a protest poster and a corporation spending millions of dollars in political advertising to support their own agenda to the detriment of individual citizens often including shareholders. Go to http://www.movetoamend.org for more information on this greatest single threat to our country’s representational democracy!

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  23. thomasjeffersonComment by thomasjefferson
    September 27, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    If conservatives did it it would be called a “hate crime”

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  24. oleteabagComment by oleteabag
    September 27, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    It is ironic, is it not, that when one of these liberal moonbats gets into trouble they immediately wrap themselves in the Constitutional rights they seem so eager to destroy.

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  25. Richard VoltoComment by Richard Volto
    September 27, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    I would like to point out to Mona and her supporters that in America, non-violent protest does not include vandalism. Also she says that you get arrested for non-violent protests in America. Well in Egypt, Mona, you get executed for not protesting at all. You get executed in Egypt, Iran, Syria and Indonesia for being Christian and not saying a damn thing.

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    • SAnnComment by SAnn
      September 27, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

      Darn it! She was in a country that does not do that, yet! The police should carry duck tape with them to use on the mouthy ones who try to preach their progressive ideas as they are getting arrested.

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