The Occupy movement puts a few interesting questions in front of us all:
1. What happens to free assembly when there’s no public space? Zuccotti Park in New York City is a private park. The only visible, publicly owned space in the city where I live is the land around City Hall. Oh, also the 45 mph highways … public, but not exactly safe for assembly.
2. What happens to free assembly when government defines “public space” as belonging to the government, not the public? That’s what happened here in North Carolina, where Occupiers were told to leave, first the grounds of the State Capitol, then the adjacent sidewalks, which “belonged to the State Capitol.” Strangely, I thought the State Capitol belonged to the State, which belongs to the taxpayers, which includes the Occupiers …
3. When Occupiers find themselves ill-equipped to manage the homeless and mentally ill who move into their tent city … why do people fault the Occupiers? Why blame the Occupiers for our communities’ failure to provide housing and care for “the least of these, my brethren”?
All I can “blame” on the Occupiers is bringing to light issues that many already knew existed.
What do you think about the Occupy movement?
- Where protesting social inequity met social inequity (treatmentadvocacycenter.org)
- NYPD defy supreme court over clearance of Occupy Wall Street (guardian.co.uk)
- Editorial: State stumbled before allowing free assembly in Nashville’s Legislative Plaza (knoxnews.com)
- 5 arrested at homeless encampment, an Occupy San Diego outgrowth (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- 7% of Occupy L.A. Population Is Homeless, Restrictions Vex Food Tent (laist.com)
- Tennessee governor defends Occupy Nashville arrests (guardian.co.uk)
- Occupy Salt Lake protests treatment of homeless at Pioneer Park ()
- Zuccotti Park Reopens To Occupy Wall Street Protesters (mtv.com)
- The nationwide crackdown on Occupy Wall Street has begun (destructionist.wordpress.com)
- Bloomberg’s Eviction of Occupy Wall Street is an Assault on the Power of Public Spaces (treehugger.com)