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View Diary: An Open Letter to Occupy Boston (15 comments)

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  •  I think the Constitutional question is whether (3+ / 0-)

    authorities have the right to limit the freedom of assembly.

    Avenues of public discourse have become privatized and mediated by corporate interests.

    The grievances we need to redress to our government are profound and so, the need for a profound, prolonged assembly is called for.

    without holding the space, the powers that be will make sure that it gets used for other purposes. They will do anything they can to thwart our ability to persist and create a stable venue for public discourse and protest.

    I agree with the author that using the site as some kind of examplar society is not practical. But, using it as a site for persistent protest seems right.

    As the UN Envoy for Freedom of Speech is writing to the Obama administration, human and civil rights should always trump ordinances. We have extraordinary circumstances in our economy and political corruption. This calls for extraordinary measure of protest and redress.

    Just my humble opinion, of course, as the courts have not seen fit to acknowledge this. But then, our Constitution was never written to actual a true democracy for all and our laws have been crafted to serve the owner class. So, I don't really have great expectation of our court system.

    Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

    by UnaSpenser on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 09:39:15 AM PST

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    •  Precisely the reason (3+ / 0-)

      I will be down at Dewey Sq. tonight. Regardless of my criticisms the camp is the symbol of the Occupy Boston Movement and I have to bear witness, at the very least.

    •  What seems to be at legal issue (0+ / 0-)

      is physical space. The local governments are saying that Occupy Groups are free to hold rallies and assemblies on public space. The reserve the power to set limits on the time and duration of such assemblies. The courts are holding that they are satisfying to right to public assembly and political speech.

      First amendment issues usually take on debates about absolutism of free speech vs free speech balanced against other competing public interest. People can choose how much of their energies they want to invest in absolutist battles for abstract principles. I think that most people are likely to make such choices based on a perception of practical gains likely to be achieved.

      •  There are several issues where I am (0+ / 0-)

        inclined to place other considerations above absolutist first amendment claims. These include hate crimes, bullying, speech that is blatantly and abusively racists, sexist or homophobuc. I am more of a communitarian than a libertarian.

        •  the immediate need to hold space which is not (0+ / 0-)

          under the oppressive control of the 1% is not about absolutism. It is about the pragmatic reality that all other venues of dialog and planning get co-opted. That we need to have a space of our own. Visible, stable and accessible to all.

          Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

          by UnaSpenser on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 10:42:56 AM PST

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          •  I doubt that you are going to find a (1+ / 0-)
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            court that views the constitution guaranteeing you that. I doubt that you would find much public support for amending the constitution to provide you with such a guarantee.  

            You currently do enjoy the right of such access to public space at certain times of the day. You could go to a public park and hold a general assembly every afternoon a 2 PM. Demanding that you have total control over the space 24/7 does begin to verge on absolutism.

            •  I realize I hold a minority view. We've all been (1+ / 0-)
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              trained to believe that the laws we have and the way we enforce them are democracy, when they are not.

              Again, I don't hear anyone calling the Egyptians in Tahrir or the encamped Yemeni "absolutists". Nor are we yammering away over about how problematic it is that they took over space or are not following codes.

              We've taken over a tiny spec of space. A space that was practically unused before. The Greenway has been vastly underused and most in Boston hadn't even heard of Dewey Square before. So, it's hysterical that there's this outrage that we're using a part of it.

              Here's a sense of how much we're depriving the public of access to open space which they don't use:


              Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

              by UnaSpenser on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:59:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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