Symbols Are a Pathway Towards Expressing Free Speech, Writing, and Printing

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Photos by the Stuart Art Collection, UC San Diego

UCSD helps encompass one of the most important features of our society and of documents such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. As stated in article 11 of this document, “the free expression of thought and opinion is one of the most precious rights of man; thus every citizen may freely speak, write, and print, subject to accountability for abuse of this freedom in the cases determined by law” (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1987, Article 11). Thus, this image relates to the reading because this is UCSD’s silent tree, which is part of the Stuart art collection here at UCSD. This tree’s name can be misleading for those who take it literally, but in fact, the tree serves a very important purpose. Numerous protests over the years have taken place at this tree, which is a symbol for not only the UCSD community, but also our world of today to learn from. Protesters come to this tree to protest, and they are in no way violating any laws, but rather, exercising their ‘most precious rights’ by speaking up about subjects they care about, writing up proposal and speeches that can also be heard at rallies that take place here, and printing/making posters to visually capture the attention of many. Thus, should more symbols of free speech and expression be promoted/established in the world beyond UCSD, and where should they be implemented? What are some other examples of other symbols of free speech, writing, and printing?

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