Free speech isn’t free. In our case, each additional copy costs $1.
The perpetrator or perpetrators who defaced 300-plus copies of Wednesday’s Daily Nexus, befouling the unbiased sanctity of our front page with stamps of red ink, probably did not understand the severity of their actions.
Or worse, they knew exactly what they were doing. They knew that by manipulating our content without authorization, they were trampling a constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of the press. They knew that by forcing Nexus staff to confiscate the issues that were desecrated with A.S. election propaganda, they were restricting every student’s right to choose what they want to read.
But worst of all, they likely thought Daily Nexus staff members and UCSB students alike are complacent and dumb enough to let this act of censorship slide.
Even if it’s only a misdemeanor vandalism charge, we urge that the culprits be brought to justice. They’ve set a dangerous — though utterly childish — precedent. What’s next? Opposing political parties writing over each other’s signs? Every group that wants free advertising slapping thousands of stickers over prepaid advertisements on our classifieds page?
Obviously, the vandals intended to pass off statements supporting the Student Action Coalition, a party currently involved in this year’s Associated Students’ elections, as an official endorsement by the Daily Nexus. The Nexus editors issued their real endorsements, which can be found at www.dailynexus.com, on Tuesday.
We don’t yet know who is responsible for this idiotic vandalism — and we’re not exactly waiting by the mailbox for a check to cover the $641 those defaced papers were worth — but we’re sure those red stamps won’t further anyone’s cause.
The Nexus has never taken censorship sitting down and never will. Someone fucked up big time.