You Can Protest Without Pitching a Tent
The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread across the globe and in most cases the protesters are doing the right things to be heard. They have signs, they have slogans, they are chanting, marching and doing what they can to get their message across through this protest. But they have made one mistake and that is pitching tents.
Signs, Yes. Tents, No.
In the fight to be heard they have turned local parks into areas that resemble summer music festivals and in the process may have forgotten that those parks are there for families and specifically children to enjoy. Areas where the protests occur, such as Los Angeles have found problems with sanitary and safety conditions in these areas and not all protestors are picking up after themselves and doing all they can to lessen the environmental impact of their "camps."
The Police Chief in L.A., Charlie Beck said that half of the 485 tents that were taken down left patches of the nearly 2-acre park filled with garbage and large tracks of grass missing.
The Constitution Does Not Give the Right to Camp
Many people see the removals of the camp as a violation of our constitutional right to assemble. But that is just not the case. It is about public health and safety in most cases and the law allows the right to peaceful assembly, but nowhere is it written that those protests can include setting up entire camps on public property.
Change is a work in progress. Those who protest are starting to understand that their needs to be solid organization for the 99 percent to accomplish their goals. Documenting abuses, organizing marches, setting up actual offices and filing for permits for areas that people can camp in legally are the first steps. If this peaceful organization can continue, this is the best way for those upset with the current American government to express those views to gain the change in Washington that they are hoping for.
© Christine M. Dantz 2011