Is there a limit to free speech?

Free Protester

Photo: CNP

On a bright Saturday afternoon, Kirk Thomas a 53-year-old man was seen under a bridge in Newport Road in Cardiff, protesting against people he claims are sexual offenders.

Provocative messages in his posters claim that paedophiles are escaping the law of the land. Thomas Kirk claims that the legal system has failed to deal with a serious case of sexual assault on children. His protests have got him into trouble with the law over the past few years. He was jailed six times, but despite that he says he won’t give up.

Kirk Thomas believes that hanging posters with accusations against alleged sexual offenders and calling on people’s support is his right of freedom of expression. These wall size posters were not just mere messages, but it included the names of people who he claims are criminals.

People passing by expressed different opinions regarding Kirk Thomas’s message. Some of them believed that it’s his absolute right to express himself and say all that he he wants, if that could make a change to the world. Whilst the others felt that his messages are defaming people and may ruin their reputation since they are not sure whether these allegations are true.

Photo: CNP

According to Dr. Damian Carney, a senior lecturer in Media Law at Cardiff University, “Publicly accusing someone of being a criminal in the United Kingdom is considered a form of defamation because it causes damage to the reputation of the person being accused.”  However Kirk Thomas considers his action to be a peaceful one and says he will continue to protest in the interests of justice, as he sees it.

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