Some people have strange ideas about free speech – ban advertising in Bristol?
In an increasingly commercialised world people should have the freedom to choose when they are exposed to advertising. In public spaces we should be free from private and commercial interest but instead we are bombarded with messages that encourage us to run ever faster on the treadmill of modern consumer life with damaging consequences.
Well, OK, not sure I agree with you but it’s a point of view that can be discussed certainly.
Then we get what is really meant:
Any remaining empty spaces can be filled with art, poetry and inspiring social campaigns (e.g. volunteering, encouraging recycling).
You can have propaganda that I approve of but not that nasty advertising of which I do not.
Which entirely misses the point about free speech, indeed freedom of any sort at all. It isn’t and should not be that I am free to do as I wish. It is that freedom means that I have to allow you to be free to do as you wish. A test that “Bristol: the city that said no to advertising” has just comprehensively failed and so we get to tell them to fuck off as the authoritarian little shits they are.