OWS and the First Amendment

Avatar for songwright
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-1997
OWS and the First Amendment
39
Sun, 10-30-2011 - 12:55pm

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or

~ SW

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Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 10-30-2011 - 3:39pm

The US is NOT a demoracy; it is a REPUBLIC!

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Sun, 10-30-2011 - 11:29pm

Regardless of how you characterize our system of government (and it's usually referred to as "democratic"--I don't see us talking about spreading "republicancy" in other parts of the world), the OP's main point is that there is Constitutional protection within the Bill of Rights for the kind of protest in which OWS has been engaged.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009
Sun, 10-30-2011 - 11:56pm

Is it peaceable to occupy private property?

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 12:17am
Depends on the owner(s) of the property and the activities of the protesters, does it not? If the owner is amenable, and if the activists are not being violent, then the answer would be "yes".

Jabberwocka

Avatar for songwright
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-1997
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 1:12am

The US is

~ SW

Avatar for songwright
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-1997
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 1:29am

Is it peaceable to occupy private property?

Well, that would of course depend upon whether the owner of the property in question cares whether or not their property is 'occupied'. In the case I related in Oakland, the protesters were in a public park and in public streets. Protesters in many other cities around the country were also arrested on public property - i.e. the people arrested in Austin TX in front of the State Capitol. In these situations your question is moot, and also irrelevant to the point of whether or not such protests are protected by the First Amendment.

~ SW

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 12:43pm

As you noted, there have been many arrests and conflicts with police, failure to obey lawful police orders, lewd conduct in public, etc... So there is no question that laws have been broken, which answers the question about it being a peaceable assembly and protected by the Constitution.

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 1:08pm

You have attributed blame to the OWS when it appears that they were not always the precipitating agents. http://www.care2.com/causes/police-clash-with-ows-camps-in-denver-austin.html

"Lewd behavior" is more than a little feeble for castigating protesters concerned about severe inequality.

And you didn't ask about "lawful" behavior, you asked whether the protests had been "peaceable". The two are neither synonymous nor equal, since there are laws still on the books which defy logic and probably aren't constitutional either.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 10:33am
jabberwocka wrote:

You have attributed blame to the OWS when it appears that they were not always the precipitating agents. http://www.care2.com/causes/police-clash-with-ows-camps-in-denver-austin.html

"Lewd behavior" is more than a little feeble for castigating protesters concerned about severe inequality.

Hehe. Nah, nothing wrong with a little lewd behavior at a "peaceable" assembly. Oh, that's right. They're protesting "severe inequality", so they are excused from those little laws.

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 1:49pm

I'm too bourgeois and/or finicky to go in for the kind of around-the-clock protest over weeks and in the elements, which seems to be the hallmark of the OWS movement.

Jabberwocka

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