Americans have the right to peaceably assemble.
This is a law of the land.
The law doesn't say we can peaceably assemble as long as nobody is offended or inconvenienced, it says we must be peaceful. It does not say that peaceable assembly may not interfere with commerce or traffic. It doesn't say peaceably assemble as long as certain levels of hygiene are met.
It is the duty of the police, municipalities, and state governments to provide those peaceably assembled the unwavering and unimpeded right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Lest anybody be unfamiliar with the obscure law of the land protecting the "Occupy" movements that have grown-up organically across the nation, it is commonly known as the First Amendment, and it states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Bill of Rights
Municipal laws about deadlines and curfews and hygiene do not trump the Constitution.
We don't get to say: you can protest against the state of our economy on Saturdays from Noon to 5:00 PM, but you can't set up a tent, and you can't move freely around the surrounding neighborhood.
The police should be protecting the Occupiers' right to peaceably assembly not using military tactics to crush them as though we live in some fascist state.
The Constitution also says we have the right to pursue happiness, it doesn't say we GET happiness. The presence of protesters with whom we don't agree or who are inconvenient do not prevent anybody's pursuit of happiness.
Occupy Wall Street is a peaceful assembly of concerned Americans. They have been violently set-upon by the police, and occupiers across America have been turned into criminals by local governments.
Now mayors and other local government officials complain that there are criminals present among the Occupiers.
If you criminalize an entire community, as we have done to the Occupiers, then everyone present is a criminal. You can't then be surprised that actual dangerous criminals make their homes among them.
Instead of vilifying and attacking Occupiers, mayors from coast-to-coast should be providing police protection and infrastructure support for them. If our government had been doing the right thing all along, they could actually be partners with the citizens and work jointly to ensure the safety of everyone involved, including those inconvenienced by the protest. The Occupations could be made safe.
It is sad to see my government fail so completely, and then hear citizens defend the police tactics being used to support corporate interests instead of actual citizens.
Kyle G. Brixton