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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Authors Occupy Wall Street


Several weeks ago, I added my name to the growing list of authors expressing support for the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The full list of authors can be found at http://occupywriters.com/.

On Tuesday, at the behest of NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, police launched a military-style surprise raid on the protesters in Zucotti Park. Police prevented reporters from entering the site to report on the removal and how it was handled, a clear violation of the First Amendment. Even news helicopters were banned from the airspace above the park. NY police also ordered doormen to keep residents inside their homes so they could not watch the raid from the street. House arrest of US citizens? This was not ordered for "public safety" but rather to avoid public scrutiny of the raid and the tactics.

Didn't work, though. An MSNBC stringer was at the park and captured footage of the raid on her cell phone.

Occupy Wall Street had a court order allowing protesters to return. Bloomberg refused, saying he hadn't seen it. Millions of other people had seen it, however; the court order was published on The New York Times website. Guess Mikie doesn't read the Times. After all, that's the millionaire mayor's competition. He owns Bloomberg News -- even if he still hasn't grasped all the annoying little details of that troublesome First Amendment thing.

Yesterday, an 84-year-old woman was pepper sprayed by police as they raided an Occupy Seattle protest site.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, during an appearance on a BBC radio show, confirmed a suspicion that a series of raids on protest sites may have been part of a coordinated effort by the federal government. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation," Quan said.

Journalist Rick Ellis claims a Department of Justice source told him the Occupy raids were "coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI, and other federal police agencies."

If the federal government is conspiring to suppress the First Amendment rights of citizens to assembly peaceably, then we need to be concerned.

The First Amendment also prohibits the government from impinging on the right of Freedom of Speech. The protesters will be heard; if not in Zucotti Park, then elsewhere, but they -- and their message -- will return. You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said! I've been following the *Occupy* movement in the news and on such sites as ATS. I feel like I'm watching history unfolding before my very eyes.

    In another way, I feel like I'm seeing history hit the *replay* button on the '60s. They say those who do not remember/learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    What is mind boggling to me is that, here - in this bright new century of technology & discovery - mankind is STILL struggling for our self-evident, God-given rights.

    Either we are yet a very young, very brutish species no matter how shiny our toys - or there is something psychologically awry within our species/herd.

    I, too, support the OWS. More importantly, I support the Constitution of the United States of America.

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