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public space for public use

October 11, 2011

Last night, Boston’s mayor made it explicitly clear that, “Civil disobedience will not be tolerated.” About a hundred people were arrested, including members of Veterans for Peace, for the awful crime of occupying a public space in order to exercise their constitutionally protected right to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We’re being intimidated, and our voices are being suppressed by the very people we employ to protect and serve us. This is why we, the people, need to work even harder to reclaim our public spaces for public use and protect our rights. As one Occupy Wall Street protester in New York so succinctly put it in early October, “This group is reasserting the power to use public space in a democratic manner. That’s democratic with a small d. Occupying public space is a metaphor for occupying political space.” In my opinion, no one should be harassed and/or arrested by the police simply for peaceably occupying public space like parks, greenways, etc., especially when in the process of exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. And that goes doubly for veterans.


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