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First Amendment Library:
L. Louis Karton


When Arthur Terminiello delivered a speech in an auditorium in Chicago, the auditorium was filled to capacity with over eight hundred people. Outside of the speech, almost one thousand people gathered to protest the speech. Although police were assigned there to maintain order, they could not prevent several disturbances. In his speech, Terminiello condemned the conduct of the crowd outside and criticized various political and racial groups whose activities he denounced as harmful to the nation’s welfare. Terminiello was found guilty of disorderly conduct under a Chicago city ordinance prohibiting “breach[es] of the peace” and subsequently fined.