Archive for Occupy Wall Street

It’s not a matter of the First Amendment, people…

Posted in Politics and Society with tags , on November, 2011 by melendwyr

I’ve been reading about the umpteen-ring circus that is the “Occupy [Location]” Movement, and generally I’ve been highly amused.  They’re like the Tea Party, as every media hack keeps repeating, but without the organization and coherence.  It’s pretty sad when the TP beats you on both of those qualities, too.

While I’d like to be sympathetic with their complaints, I find their analysis lacking.  There doesn’t seem to be any sense in which they blame the unholy alliance of Big Business and government, just BB.  There’s no criticism of members of the public who bought homes they couldn’t afford.  And much of their protests deal with the standard young-lefty complaints such as the lack of universal health care.

But what actually gets my goat is nonsense like the following (taken from the Miami Herald’s coverage):

“First Amendment rights, First Amendment rights,” one woman shouted as she was handcuffed and led away to nearby police vans.

Don’t these people know what the First Amendment actually guarantees?  For that matter, doesn’t it occur to any of them that monopolizing public spaces, in ways that permanently damage them, while soaking the surroundings in urine, isn’t all that great a way to make people sympathetic to their cause?  (The hygienic concerns surrounding the protests are quite real and increasingly serious, according to my sources.)  Not to mention better at not getting them arrested.  It’s just not that hard to craft a protest that doesn’t unfairly inconvenience people working at the target – those sorts of placard-holding and chanting are tolerated.  It’s not the speech that people are objecting to, it’s the blockading and gross discourtesy of the Occupy movement.

When I compare them to, say, the Civil Rights Movement of the US, I feel sick.