Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


School of Urban and Regional Studies

Major Professor

Brooks, Jane; Nelson, Marla

Second Advisor

Ehrenfeucht, Renia

Third Advisor

Villavaso, Stephen


Dissent is intricately linked to the qualities of public space. While the First Amendment protects dissent, historical legal and social mechanisms have regulated protest and its relationship with public space. In the latter half of the twentieth century, a rigorous legal framework has emerged to both protect and regulate protest. Yet free speech rights are highly contested. The media are complicit in relating protesters to violence. This perception has been thoroughly constructed in the media since the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999. The September 11th terrorist attacks have further amplified concerns for security in public spaces. The increased securitization of the city during times of mass protests has been verbally and visually presented in both local and national media. This thesis focuses on the media's rationalization of the securitized city and the potential violence of protesters and questions the implications for free speech rights.


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