Yes, definitely let folks protest if they don’t like a speaker--or they can simply stay home and let the turnout for an event be low. Then those who are speaking to make a quick buck may not accept an offer to speak. Vote with your feet.
But I don’t think it is fair to prevent people from going to an event by blocking entrances, impeding entrances by mobbing attendees in their cars, or destroying their property (trashing vehicles). Especially when people have paid for tickets or even made long trips just to attend a non-violent, though maybe controversial, event.
Free speech can espouse controversial ideas--but if violence is not actually incited in the crowd who support the speakers, it remains free speech. Even if some folks don’t like what is said.
A problem I see with your point is whether it is possible to tell if or when a protest will become violent. Seems like, especially with cell phones and the internet, it is easy for folks to set up a clandestine protest with the purpose of being violent without giving out any clue to that plan. Flash mobs (I’ve heard that political protests sort should be called “smart mobs” to distinguish them from sudden fun or artistic sort of gatherings. Like violence at protests is “smart”
.) I know the “authorities" have gone so far as to set up zones away from the area where people can register their displeasure with an event--but that’s not really a satisfying solution for anyone.
Once violence starts, it can be hard to turn off.
And I still think that there are fewer protests that turn bad from the right side of the spectrum--perhaps the anger at being mistreated isn’t quite as strong. Or perhaps the right is less organized at sending in paid protestors to start trouble. Or...what?
Most problems I’ve seen from the right seem to be sort of mutual--someone says something, someone else responds back and fights start--someone gets hurt.
But that is a far cry from the kind of property destruction, theft of merchandise and violence against the innocent that goes on in riots. How many times have you seen a car burning in a “protest” against some action of Obama’s, for example?
Aside from riots after soccer games and sports events, that is.
It can’t be just a matter of haves and have-nots--many of the violent student protests happen at college campuses where mom and dad are spending inordinate amounts of money to sponsor the kid’s tuition and lifestyle. These are kids born with a silver spoon in their mouths, so to speak, who are “disturbing the peace.”
Free speech is what makes this country. Shut that down by the heckler’s veto and we have tyranny of the mob. Brown shirts. Totalitarianism. Left-wing fascism. Terrorism. Anarchy.