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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: We Demand Answers! Why were Occupy Boston Charges Dropped? (49 comments)

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  •  I'm replying to what is "legal" free speech. (7+ / 0-)

     While it seems clear from what you said that you were simply exercising your constitutional right, the fact is that legally there are some limitations on the first amendment -- primarily that your free speech & freedom of assembly depends on your not limiting someone else's protected freedoms -- this gets tricky, as far as legal rights go, when people sleep in public parks or overcrowd public spaces as there have been precedents limiting people's rights on these issues that have been upheld for many years (and which, in some cases, I understand).
         But don't get mad at me -I'm not saying you were wrong in what the protesters did (as a group). I am simply saying basing it on not breaking existing law is not always the criteria I would use. After all, when we desegrated places in the South,during civil rights, we were breaking existing law.  And when your government gives you no other way to get your grievances heard, you do what you have to do. Which you did.

    •  we weren't limiting anyone else's protected (8+ / 0-)


      The park was always open to anyone. Occupy Boston specifically chose a park that was notoriously not used. Most people in Boston had no idea that Dewey Square even existed. (The first idea for the occupation was The Boston Commons, but out of concern for being seen in the way, Dewey Square was chosen, instead.)

      I know there have been laws which limit First Amendment rights. I don't believe they are constitutional, even if a SCOTUS has said they are. I believe the founders were very concerned about this right being curbed by the powers that be and were very clear that "Congress could make no laws...."

      So, jurisdictions have gotten around that by not having the US Congress make the laws.

      When it is clearly an action about sending a political message, and no one is being hurt and no one else is denied their ability to send their own messages, it is not constitutional to limit that expression. (In my clearly not so humble opinion!) ;-)

      •  The only point I wanted to make was that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser, NY brit expat, AoT, JayRaye

        the righteiousness of the action doesn't necessarily
        depend on the legality. that we have certain human rights (i.e., to have enough to live on, teh right to an education, etc.) that are not and have never been part of the constitution and (whether you were within your legal "rights" or not is not the most important part of the struggle to me.
        Anyway, don't give up.  We appreciate your activism.

        •  true. I believe that's why we call it civil (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat, elwior, Geminijen, AoT, JayRaye


          I am purposefully pushing back against the idea that anything we did was illegal, because I think the laws are unconstitutional or a breach of those "universal human rights" so eloquently noted by our president when it was citizens of another country exercising them.

          But, you're right, legality isn't necessarily the issue.

          Which, apparently, will not be tolerated! ;-)

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