Tag Archives | First Amendment rights

Occupy without encampments? I don’t think so.

I share Robert Reich’s opinion of the corporate kingpins who are trying to drive a stake through the ailing heart of our democracy:

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted…

However, Reich’s suggestion for undoing the harm done by Michael Bloomberg, the Koch brothers and other corporatists sounds hazy at best:

… If Occupiers are expelled from specific geographic locations the Occupier movement can shift to broad-based organizing around the simple idea at the core of the movement: It’s time to occupy our democracy.

It would be a big mistake to give up on the encampments around the country that have made the Occupy movement a genuine force for change.

More here.

‘Public’ space laws vs. the right of assembly

Maybe I’m wrong, but the Occupy movement seems to highlight a serious conflict between our right to assemble and petition, and contemporary laws and notions regarding public space. All too often, it seems, these rights can be trumped by the power of landlords and city officials. More here.

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