Bruce Cotterill wrote an opinion piece for the New Zealand Herald. It was published on Saturday 5 November 2022. It was about free speech and entitled “Free speech – worth speaking up for.” It presented some important and compelling arguments in support of the importance and necessity of freedom of speech.
Mr Cotterill’s article attracted some comment. Even something as fundamentally important as freedom of speech is a contentious topic. Critics of advocates of free speech use the ability to express themselves freely in opposition. If it were not for free speech they would be unable to do so. That in itself demonstrates the vital importance of freedom of expression.
One critic of Mr Cotterill’s piece took him to task for conflating freedom of speech issues and disinformation. The reasoning is clear. There is a move afoot to point out and deal with disinformation. That in itself is a freedom of speech issue. No matter how wrong headed a point of view might be, if there is no immediacy of physical harm caused by the expression of the point of view, freedom of expression allows it to be communicated.
I should observe at this stage that rather than the term “Free speech” I prefer to use “freedom of expression.” There are two reasons for this.
The first is that is the term that is used in Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
The second is that the right as expressed in section 14 recognises that freedom of expression is a two way street. There is the right to impart information and opinions of any kind in any form – what could be called the “outward flow”. There is also the right to seek and receive information and opinions of any kind in any form – what could be called the “inward flow”.
In the discussion that follows I go another step further than Mr Cotterill and conflate what is referred to generically as “hate speech” with disinformation. Both concepts have freedom of expression implications. My reasons for conflating the concepts will become clear in what follows.
My discussion commences with a prologue, highlighting some of the remarks made by the Primes Minister of New Zealand Ms Jacinda Ardern at the United Nations General Assembly.
These remarks set the stage for the discussion that follows. The starting point for that discussion is the announcement by the Minister of Justice Ms Kiri Allan that “hate speech” legislation – legislation that has had a gestation period that would rival that of a blue whale – will be enacted by the general election in 2023.
The discussion then moves to consider two documentaries that were screened on television during the week of 31 October 2022. One is entitled “Web of Chaos”. The other was the final episode of the series “A Question of Justice” and addresses hate crimes.
I then go on to make some observations about the climate of fear that has continued to develop in New Zealand, fed not only by documentaries such as “Fire and Fury” and “Web of Chaos” but also by some disturbing and sonorous remarks by the Director of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Ms Rebecca Kitteridge.
Taken collectively these various events and pronouncements provide a backdrop against which a discussion of hate speech legislation, mis/disinformation and the tension with the freedom of expression is going to take place.
I pose a question – taken from the opening lines of a 1967 song by Buffalo Springfield entitled “For What its Worth” – “There’s something happening here?”
On 23rd September 2022 Prime Minister Ardern addressed the United Nations General Assembly. She spoke generally of the issues of the day before segueing into a discussion of the new weapons of war, referring to cyber-attacks, prolific disinformation and the manipulation of communities and societies.
The cyberattacks are easily understood. It was the second part that was concerning because the weapons to which Ms Ardern referred were words.
She quickly reassured her audience that “even those most light touch approaches to disinformation could be misinterpreted as being hostile to the values of free speech we value so highly”.
Yet within moments she retreated from that view when she posed the rhetorical question “How do you tackle climate change, if people do not believe it exists?”
The answer becomes clear when you line that comment up against the claim made during the height of the COVID pandemic that the Government was the sole source of truth. The answer is to shut down speech that is hostile to the received wisdom of the Government.
If there is to be a move towards further restrictions of speech – and this is in the wind following the announcement during the week of 30 October that the Minister of Justice will introduce “hate speech” legislation before the next election – who is to decide what speech should be restricted? When does opinion become misinformation? What is an accurate opinion as opposed to an inaccurate one? When does mis/disinformation become “hate speech?” If the law manages to shut down one side of an argument the community is the poorer for being unable to evaluate an alternative view.
On 1 November 2022, TV1 screened the documentary “Web of Chaos”. The following day, Prime screened the fourth instalment of the series “A Question of Justice” which addressed hate crimes.
I shall start my consideration of the documentaries by explaining why I conflate disinformation and hate speech.
The predominant theme of “Web of Chaos” is that of disinformation and the way that online networks have enabled its spread. Sadly, at no time is disinformation defined. This is curious because much of the documentary contains interviews or commentary from two academics involved in The Disinformation Project. One of these academics is Ms. Kate Hannah.
Ms. Hannah describes how people are drawn into mis/disinformation networks in in different ways. She refers to the “trad wife” viewpoint. She claims that white Christian pseudo-Celtic pseudo-Nordic ideology lies behind this viewpoint. They (presumably the “white Christian pseudo-Celtic pseudo-Nordic”) use Pinterest and Instagram to draw in other women who are interested in interior design, children’s clothing, knitting, healthy food for children.
From this innocent start people are drawn in towards a set of white nationalist ideas. Fair skinned children with braids is a danger signal according to Ms Hannah. She did not explain why this was the case.
She then referred to the association of these ideas with a toxic masculinity which had
”…very fixed ideas about gender roles, race, ethnic identity, national identity, nationalism and rights to things like free speech – very influenced by a totally US centric model.” (“Web of Chaos” at 21.5)
In essence these characteristics, according to Hannah, derive from US based alt-right perspectives.
If I understand Ms Hannah’s position disinformation is associated with extremist ideologies. These ideologies are nationalistic, white supremacist and far right.
This may be viewed alongside the material presented in the documentary by Professor Lisa Ellis, Political Philosopher, Otago University. She commented on some aspects leading to the rise of the Nazi’s in 1930’s Germany. The racist hatred of Nazis is reflected in some modern extremist organisations. Ms Hannah and Professor Ellis focus on the Far Right but similar racist hatred is expressed in other ideologies represented by Al Quaeda or ISIS.
The Stuff documentary “Fire and Fury” – which I have written about here – dealt with the rise of disinformation and the way in which that led to radical and violent action and extreme expressions of hatred especially towards politicians.
The very clear message from these sources is that disinformation and racial hatred or hate speech are two sides of the same coin. According to Ms Hannah they are inextricably intertwined. One inevitably leads to another. It seems that any discussion of disinformation ultimately ends up in a consideration of hate speech or extremist speech.
In her address to opening of New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism – He Whenua Taurikura the Ms Ardern made a similar association between disinformation and violent extremism. I discuss this in detail below.
It is for those reasons that I conflate disinformation and hate speech as both worthy of consideration in a discussion about freedom of expression.
1 November 2022 – Web of Chaos – TV 1
This TV programme was described as “A deep dive into the world of disinformation, exploring why it’s spreading at pace throughout Aotearoa and the world, with specialists warning of striking consequences for social cohesion and democracy.”
In many respects, both in the manner of presentation and the content presented it bore a close relationship to the “Fire and Fury” documentary put out by Stuff. It starts with a recognition of the way in which online platforms can enable communities but then rapidly descends into a critique of what is described as cultish behaviour.
Kate Hannah was joined by Dr. Sanjana Hattotuwa, also of the Disinformation Project and assisted by David Farrier, described as a journalist and podcaster. Farrier tracks the development of Internet communication from the early days of discussion groups to the current world of social media platforms and algorithm driven content.
A fair section of the programme focusses upon the Wellington Protests of February – March 2022, covering the same material as “Fire and Fury” and expressing similar concerns about perceptions of violent radicalism or extremism. A concern by Dr. Hattotuwa is that the Internet provides a means of communication and connection between previously isolated radicals. He describes it as the algorithmic amplification of psychosis.
Although it is not clearly explained there is ample evidence to establish that social media platforms use algorithms in the background. These algorithms are designed to track the search or interest patterns of a user and then provide more information of a similar type. The problem is that as the user follows a particular interest, more and more information associated with that interest will be provided. This can be troublesome if the users’ interests are oriented towards violence or extremism. More problematic is the situation where a user may hover around the edges of extremist content but be served up more and more content of that nature.
Both Dr Hattotuwa and Ms Hannah immerse themselves in the vast amount of what comprises misinformation, disinformation and radical extremism online.
Dr Hattotuwa subscribes to 130 Telegram channels and groups. He concedes he does not read everything that comes across his screen. Because of the way he organizes the information, he claims that he gets an insight into the mindset of the people who frequent the channels.
Dr Hattotuwa discussed what he calls toxic information and commentary including material directed about the Prime Minister. What was extraordinary was the suggestion that this toxic informational landscape was being used by 350,000 New Zealanders – all grooming and harvesting. Dr Hattotuwa emphasizes “It is here. It is amongst you” (“Web of Chaos” at 29.30). No evidence is offered to support either the numbers or the assertion.
Ms Hannah expressed concerns about death threats that she received and records the ritualistic washing of hands she undertakes before she examines archival material – a form of symbolic disengagement from reading unpleasant material. She does the same investigating information on the computer. Dr. Hattotuwa describes how he has two showers a day to symbolically wash away the detritus of the online material he has been viewing. These actions on the part of two individuals who are meant to be carrying out dispassionate and objective research is interesting if only for the level of subjectivity it introduces.
Marc Daalder – reporter on Technology and the Far Right which must be a clear indicator of other than an objective perspective – suggests that although there may not be funding of extreme groups in New Zealand the Internet allows the importation and availability of this material.
Ms Hannah suggests that groups are using New Zealand as a laboratory for disinformation strategies to see if they work.
The documentary offers no solutions other than to have Professor Ellis observe that today’s Digital Natives are less likely to be taken in by mis/disinformation and Conspiracy theories. She holds out some hope for the future.
What the documentary does do is to further enhance the aura of fear that was generated by the “Fire and Fury” piece, identifying what is perceived as a problem but leaving the door open as to solutions.
The conflation of disinformation with hate speech suggests that whatever proposals there may be for restricting or limiting hate speech should be applied equally to disinformation and possibly even misinformation. This would result in a significant limitation upon the freedom of expression.
Ms Hannah and Dr Hattotuwa expressed their views in the “Fire and Fury” documentary as well as the “Web of Chaos” documentary. They are entitled to express their views. My suggestion is that those views should be approached with caution. Although they may be able to point to evidence of what they describe as mis/disinformation, the way in which they interpret that evidence gives me some cause for concern.
Certainly they are neither dispassionate nor objective about their topic. This is evidenced by the reactions that they have to the content of the material that they view. They clearly are responding subjectively to it. They make value judgements rather than empirical or descriptive ones.
One astonishing connection was made by Ms Hannah to which I have referred above. In her discussion about connection between white nationalism and the slide towards extremism she said that an identifier of the groups of which she was critical involved the “advocacy of rights to things like free speech.” (My emphasis)
I trust Ms Hannah does not stand by that generalization. The implication is clear. If one is an advocate of rights such as free speech, one is a right-wing extremist, supporting white nationalism or white supremacy.
That conclusion cannot be supported by the facts. Those who advocate liberty are not extremists. Those who advocate freedom of expression are not far-right wing. For example, an examination of the Council of the Free Speech Union reveals some commentators who occupy a position on the Left of the political spectrum.
Ms Hannah’s sweeping generalisation does neither her argument nor her credibility any good. Dr Hattotuwa’s unsupported assertion that 350,000 subscribe to the toxic informational network does little for dispassionate analysis or objectivity.
Indeed, examples such as this cause one to examine with a greater critical lens, the assertions and validity of material that emanates from the Disinformation Project.
Indeed the whole tone of the “Web of Chaos” documentary had a whiff of hysteria to it. Suggestions of a far-Right conspiracy peddling disinformation with the objective of destroying democracy echo the themes underlying “Fire and Fury”.
This was my conclusion on that documentary
What the Fire and Fury documentary seeks to do is re-channel that fear to a form of opposition to and distrust of the contrarian movement. But after viewing the documentary I was left with an uncomfortable feeling. In all the talk about the weird conspiracy theories put about by the contrarians perhaps the underlying theme of the documentary is a conspiracy theory itself and it seemed to come from Kate Hannah who is one of the heads of the Disinformation Project. She implies that the real threat to democracy comes from a few people given to euphemistic language who make no secret of their views, who are openly all over social media, making no secret of their views and who are well known to Police and the Security Services. Do we really need to fear this vocal minority.
Perhaps Fire and Fury is an example of a mainstream media-based conspiracy theory based on fear and should be treated as such. Or perhaps it is rather a tale told by an idiot, full of Sound and Fury signifying nothing.
One writer described “Fire and Fury” as an example of agitprop. I am driven to agree. I ascribe the same word to the “Web of Chaos” documentary.
The documentary programme “A Question of Justice – Hate Crimes” was the fourth in a series which examined aspects of the New Zealand justice system. Earlier episodes focused on the role of victims in the system, the over-representation of Maori in the criminal justice system and whether there should be degrees of the crime of murder.
The style of the series was to take a case or a couple of cases as exemplars of a problem and then carry out an investigation focusing on the issues raised by those cases.
The episode on hate crimes focused on the Christchurch mosque attacks and the killing of Jae Hyeon Kim by white supremacists. The programme examined the nature of hate crimes and the proposals by the Royal Commission on the mosque attacks surrounding hate speech.
The documentary used an “investigative team” approach who reported back and developed an itemized set of problems or shortcomings and then examined possible solutions. Each episode focused on a certain case or cases.
The investigators themselves acted as reporters and were clearly neutral. Occasionally questions about shortcomings in the system might arise but these were stratagems for further lines of inquiry rather than criticism or advocacy for a particular point of view or outcome.
Documentary maker Bryan Bruce who leads the series said of the style of the show:
“I try not to go into any investigation with a ‘stance’. What I try to do is formulate questions that hopefully will get to the core of an issue. Then I talk to a whole lot of people wiser than me to try and find the answer”
Speaking of the first programme in the series about victims, Bruce observed:
“If I had to pick one thing that surprised me, it would be that I had always wrongly assumed the State prosecutes an offender to get justice for the victim. In fact, the prosecutor prosecutes the offender on behalf of the Crown and no one actually represents the victim in court… and that’s something I think we need to look at.”
Bruce stated that the overall purpose of the series was to use
“case studies to examine the law by which we are all bound. Viewers, I hope, will find it engaging but the purpose in making the series was not to produce sheer entertainment.”
The tone of the series was more that of the traditional documentary. It was generally dispassionate and objective and helped to identify problems and at time suggesting possible solutions without advocating any particular outcome.
In this respect the approach to hate speech differed from that of “Wed of Chaos” or “Fire and Fury”. In many respects the “Question of Justice” episode benefitted from a more measured and less emotional approach.
Rather than use dramatic footage and video tricks, it focused upon the nature of the problem and, although not specifically identifying it as such, the way in which the Royal Commission had addressed hate speech and the various tensions between freedom of expression and speech which incited hatred and violent action towards others. In this respect one was left with a sense that reason and objectivity predominated, and that some sense had been brought into the debate.
It would have been helpful if the documentary had detailed the solutions offered by the Royal Commission. I have written on the Royal Commission proposals here.
One of the matters that the Commission’s report was to abandon the use of the word “incite”. It suggested that the term “stirring up” was a better one. It described the way in which speech could potentially be transformed into action. However, the documentary closed by focusing on the term “incite”.
One thing that the documentary did not do was attempt to define “hate” or “hate speech”. In this respect it left and interpretative door wide open. It recognized the tension between freedom of expression and harmful speech. It acknowledged the difficulty in where to draw the line. But the wider association of “hate speech” and “disinformation” that has been touted by “Fire and Fury” and “Web of Chaos” remains.
31 October – 1 November 2022 New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism – He Whenua Taurikura
The focus of the hui was the prevention of terrorism and violent extremism. In her opening remarks, Prime Minister Ardern referred to threats to our security. Second and third on the list of the five top threats of most concern to New Zealanders was misinformation and hacking – a reprise of the concerns that she mentioned at the United Nations speech. She went on to say
- “Greater efforts are needed to detect dis-information campaigns and networks, and disrupt them, while calling out those that sponsor this activity. We are committed to working with communities, media, academia, civil society, the private sector – especially our social media platforms to counter the threat of disinformation, and I will talk about this and the Christchurch Call in the second part of my speech today.”
In discussing the Christchurch Call, Ms Ardern said:
“There must always be space for radical ideas; these are valued and vital in Aotearoa New Zealand as a free, open, democratic and progressive society.”
A reiteration of her acknowledgement of the importance of freedom of expression that she made at the UN
“However, when dehumanising and hateful ideas are part of ideologies that include hate and intolerance toward specific groups or communities, promoting or enabling violence, these may indicate a path toward violent extremism.”
To deal with this problem she itemized the importance of research the problems arising from the online environment upon which we are dependent and the importance of the international effort – the Christchurch Call.
Using the collective power of national governments who have joined the call the objective is to bring pressure upon technology platforms to change the online and societal landscape.
Ms Ardern then went on to talk about the development of a Strategic Framework for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which includes solutions and approaches developed by society for society. A prevention framework includes a fund for preventing and countering violent extremism. The fund, over three years, will provide grants to civil society and community organisations to support them to deliver initiatives for building resilience to violent extremism and radicalisation.
Finally she stressed the importance of talking about national security, and in this respect the hui was addressed by SIS Director Ms Rebecca Kitteridge.
Ms Kitteridge made the following statement:
“Recognising a potential warning sign and then alerting NZSIS or Police could be the vital piece in the puzzle that ultimately saves lives.”
To that end the SIS has published a guide called “Know the Signs” to help identify terrorists. The Guide is directed towards violent extremism rather than non-violent forms of extremism. Ms Kitteridge suggests that if a person sees something that is “off” or that worries or concerns, the suggestion is to consult the guide and try and work out if the person is on the road to perpetrating an attack.
The guide lists 50 signs from the very obvious (like writing messages on a weapon) to a person who is developing an “us versus them” world view. The SIS is monitoring some 40 – 50 potential terrorists but now a new suspicious class has emerged – those driven by politics. Ms Kitteridge suggests that this could be motivated by the measures that the Government took over COVID or other policies that are interpreted as infringing on rights – what Ms Kitteridge describes as a hot mess of ideologies and beliefs fuelled by conspiracy theories.
It is clear that the publication of the guide means that the SIS recognizes that it cannot do their work alone and that they need the help of the public.
In the introduction to the Guide Ms Kitteridge states:
“I am asking all New Zealanders to look out for concerning behaviours or activities that could be easily observed, and to report them. You may be uniquely placed to see the signs, and to help NZSIS to understand the true threat an individual poses.”
Paul Spoonley obviously buys into the SIS proposal but sees it as a first step. He sees a problem in upskilling people to understand what it is that they are seeing.
So citizens are being encouraged to monitor friends, family, neighbours and those around them, and must be watchful for the “signs”. They must be upskilled to recognize the “signs”. This air of suspicion is grounded upon fear. This has echoes of the “Red Scare” in the USA between 1917 and 1920. The Red Scare was the promotion of a widespread fear of a potential rise of communism, anarchism or other leftist ideologies by a society or state.
There was a second Red Scare in the USA from 1947 – 1957 associated with the rise of McCarthyism and the fear of Soviet espionage in US Government agencies and the “witch-hunts” that followed. Fear and suspicion characterized both of these periods. History is repeating itself but on these shores.
The Fear Factor
When the COVID pandemic hit, the Government was able to obtain compliance with a draconian suspension of our rights and liberties. It did this within a context of a climate of fear. The fear was that if the restrictions were not put in place people would contract COVID and die.
The fear factor was a part of the Government strategy through to the vaccination programme, the mandates that were imposed and through until the so-called “traffic-light” system.
It became apparent, after the numbers began to subside, that the fears of death had been overstated. The “fear factor” was received with skepticism on the part of the public which was prepared to assume risk and take their own measures to protect their health and well being.
Now the fear factor has shifted. The shift has been a gradual one. Instead of the fear of disease and death, what is being advanced is a fear of attacks upon democracy and our way of life – the scare tactics that were applied in the US with the fear of the Communist menace and infiltration.
This narrative began during the pandemic and was highlighted during the vaccine mandates. Those who resisted the mandates – the anti-vaxxers – were viewed as a contrarian threat to the Government line that emanated from “the podium of truth.”
This has morphed into a fear of the erosion of democracy arising from disinformation. The likelihood of terrorism in our own backyard. The need for vigilance. An insidious vaguely identified threat to our way of life.
This fear is magnified by messaging from our politicians. It is suggested that the election next year will be a different one as politicians – at least from the Government – are afraid of walking the streets and canvassing for votes as they once did. An air of hostility is abroad – or at least that is the narrative.
The cultivation of this atmosphere of fear enables the Government to justify erosions of liberty. One example of this will be to target “hate speech” and its close relative, disinformation. A fearful public will be more willing to accept interference with the freedom of expression if it may be seen to address a problem that will supposedly lessen or reduce the fear.
There is a wider issue arising from the climate of fear. I have already addressed it in some detail in an earlier post entitled “Fear Itself”. In that post I conclude with a consideration of the vested interest of mainstream media in promoting the “narrative of truth”. I said there:
Finally it is of interest to observe how vexed the mainstream news media get with the issue of mis/disinformation. Because the warnings emanating from the Disinformation Project, the Chief Censor’s Office and the University of Auckland Centre for Informed Futures, the news media are quick to fan the flames of fear and perhaps overdramatise the significance of the message. But perhaps there is an unstated interest that the news media might have in campaigning against mis/disinformation. In the past they have been the organs of reliable information and their editing and checking systems ensure this.
The Disinformation Project study indicates that on 10 February 2022 misinformation (as they define it) overtook NZ Media for the first time. Perhaps mainstream media has some territory to protect in the contest for the information audience and in fact what they are doing is campaigning strongly against the purveyors of mis/disinformation not to alert the public or perform some altruistic public interest goal but to do whatever they can to protect their own turf, their position as the purveyors of “truth” (despite significant column inches dedicated to “opinion”) and, not least, their advertising revenues and income streams.
I also made some observations on the fear factor engendered by the agitprop “Fire and Fury” documentary. In that piece I said:
It is a matter of comment in mainstream media that some of the leading lights of Voices for Democracy and other contrarian groups are putting themselves forward for election in the upcoming local body elections. Some of them have done so before. None of them have so far been elected. Yet there is concern about contrarians exercising their democratic right to stand for election. As I understand it the availability of democratic process does not depend on the quality of your beliefs, although those beliefs may cause rejection by the electorate.
So where does this leave us. Certainly during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic the Government was able to prey on public fears of the outbreak of plague and imminent death to justify lockdowns and to enable the acceptance of discriminatory treatment of citizens based on their vaccination status. The initial response was unplanned but necessary. But we are past that now
What the Fire and Fury documentary seeks to do is re-channel that fear to a form of opposition to and distrust of the contrarian movement. But after viewing the documentary I was left with an uncomfortable feeling. In all the talk about the weird conspiracy theories put about by the contrarians perhaps the underlying theme of the documentary is a conspiracy theory itself and it seemed to come from Kate Hannah who is one of the heads of the Disinformation Project. She implies that the real threat to democracy comes from a few people given to euphemistic language who make no secret of their views, who are openly all over social media, making no secret of their views and who are well known to Police and the Security Services. Do we really need to fear this vocal minority?
Perhaps “Fire and Fury” is an example of a mainstream media-based conspiracy theory based on fear and should be treated as such. Or perhaps it is rather a tale told by an idiot, full of Sound and Fury signifying nothing.
Conclusion – What it Is is Becoming Clear
The debate about so-called “hate” or “dangerous speech” must take place in a calm and objective environment. I realise that this is a sentiment based more on hope than reality, for the subject is an emotive one.
But the debate must not take place against a backdrop of fear which may mean that the solutions proposed are more extreme than the problem itself.
The growing panic on the part of some of misinformation and disinformation feeds into the wider landscape of concerns about “messaging” and, as I have argued, seems to have fed into the “hate speech” milieu with calls for regulation.
Comments like “disinformation corrodes the foundation of liberal democracy” – made by Ms Ardern – add to the scaremongering, softening up the populace so that they become pliable and amenable to greater restrictions on the freedom of expression and ultimately their liberty. It won’t just be about “hate speech.” The net will become incrementally and subtly wider to catch other forms of dissident and contrarian opinion.
Indeed, as Thomas Jefferson said “eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty” (1817) but perhaps not the form of vigilance suggested by Ms. Kitteridge.
We must be vigilant to ensure our liberty, and its foundation stone freedom of expression, is not further eroded.
The title of this post is taken from the first line of a song recorded by Buffalo Springfield in 1966 entitled “For What its Worth”. The lyrics follow:
There’s something happening here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look, what’s going down?
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look, what’s going down?
What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and they carrying signs
Mostly say, “Hooray for our side”
It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look, what’s going down?
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away
We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look, what’s going down?