Court Ruling in Favor of Protest Gives Me Hope

15 Nov

I go through fits with the world. Sometimes, I pull far back from it, I tend to my own garden, I let the world move around me how it moves. I have to, else I let the world swallow me up. Then, there are times I feel extremely connected to the world and what is happening in it. The past couple weeks I’ve felt much the latter.

First, Roxane Gay’s essay at The Rumpus. Then the terror of reading the Sandusky Grand Jury report. And then, waking this morning to scenes on the news of the riot police sweeping through Zuccoti Park.

I’ll admit: I’ve yet to decide how I feel about the Occupy movement. I like its heart, but I’m not sure where I stand on its body. I recognize the disparity of income, the injustices of corporate greed, but there’s some scapegoating and some tactics I can’t exactly get behind. Sometimes, I just like that there are people moving, there are people speaking.

I’ll go on record to say I hate the 53% movement, this movement that likes to outline how hard their lives are, and tell others to stop whining about how hard theirs are. I don’t get behind any movement that tries to tell others they don’t have a right to petition their government about grievances.

I’m getting off track.

What I wanted to talk about here was that last week, I vouched an official document, the Grand Jury report in the Gerald Sandusky case, stating it as now a part of our literature, however horrific the allegations. I despaired over that document, the depravity it outlined.

I wanted to say that today I came across a different sort of document. Another official document that this time gave me a hope.

Last night, the police swept Zuccoti Park. Protesters who refused to leave before the sweep were arrested. The People’s Library was thrown in the trash (I cannot abide by the trashing of books and art). As of this morning, there were reports that officers around the park were refusing to let some protesters back into the area.

There is also this. A group of lawyers (the occupation people love to hate) filed suit against the city, claiming a breach of the movement’s First Amendment Rights. The judge ruled in favor of the Occupiers, even going so far as to order that the City of New York is not allowed to evict the protesters from the park, nor enforce the no camping rules “published after the occupation began or otherwise.”

I don’t know where I stand on the Occupy movement, but I stand without hesitance against anyone trying to restrict the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression. Reading this court ruling against the city of New York gave me hope today. I hope it might give you some of the same.

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