Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WHAT ABOUT THE 1ST AMENDMENT?

In the early morning hours Monday, Occupy Wall Street activists marked the first anniversary of the movement by protesting in the financial district. Hundreds gathered on Water Street and hundreds more in Zuccotti Park, the birth place of the movement, before marching through Lower Manhattan, occasionally pausing to occupy intersections and protest financial institutions like Chase and Bank of America.

It was one of the largest turnouts since the early days of Occupy, but Monday was also exceptional because of the high arrest figures. More than 180 [later reports say over 200] people, including journalists, were arrested, and in at least some of these cases, the police were arresting individuals arbitrarily and without cause.
What about the First Amendment to the Constitution?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
From what I've heard, the members of the NYPD who abridged the freedoms of the Occupiers should be under arrest.  Of course, the police were only taking orders from Mayor Bloomberg, who also should be under arrest for violating the the rights of the people who assembled and the press who covered the gatherings, some of whom were taken into custody.  A few people who just happened to be in the vicinity, who were not part of the protest, were caught up in the NYPD's zeal to make arrests.
To say “Occupy is dead” is to misunderstand everything about the movement. Occupy can’t die as long as the dire conditions that inspired the creation of the movement continue to exist. 
....

And protesters are quick to point out that it’s only been a year, and the timeline of any social justice movement is long. Perhaps “Occupy” will evolve into a different kind of movement under an entirely different banner, but the spirit that first served as a catalyst lives on.
And the protestors are correct.  It's much too premature to begin funeral preparations for Occupy.  The movement is still alive, and Occupy or something like it will go on.

When I first went to the website of The Nation, I was asked to subscribe to the digital edition for the price of $9.50, and I closed the ad, and they let me in anyway, but after this fine article by Allison Kilkenny, I'm reconsidering buying a subscription.  The NYT continues to ask, but I won't be subscribing.