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Naomi Wolf on OWS: The First Amendment, Obligation to Protest


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#1 Jwheelz

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:56 PM

I thought this article was a really interesting read and a good response to potential attempts to clamp down on OWS

http://www.huffingto..._b_1026535.html

The First Amendment and the Obligation to Peacefully Disrupt in a Free Society
Naomi Wolf

Mayor Bloomberg is planning Draconian new measures to crack down on what he calls the "disruption" caused by the protesters at Zuccotti Park, and he is citing neighbors' complaints about noise and mess. This set of talking points, and this strategy, is being geared up as well by administrations of municipalities around the nation in response to the endurance and growing influence of the Occupation protest sites. But the idea that any administration has the unmediated option of "striking a balance," in Bloomberg's words, that it likes, and closing down peaceful and lawful disruption of business as usual as it sees fit is a grave misunderstanding -- or, more likely, deliberate misrepresentation -- of our legal social contract as American citizens.

Some kinds of disruption in a free republic are not "optional extras" if the First Amendment governs the land, as it does ours, and are certainly not subject to the whims of mayors or local police, or even DHS. Just as protesters don't have a blanket right to do everything they want, there is absolutely no blanket right of mayors or even of other citizens to be free from the effect of certain kinds of disruption resulting from their fellow citizens exercising First Amendment rights. That notion, presented right now by Bloomberg and other vested interests, of a "disruption-free" social contract is pure invention -- just like the flat-out fabrication of the nonexistent permit cited in my own detention outside the Huffington Post Game Changers event this last Tuesday, when police told me, without the event organizers' knowledge and contrary to their intentions, that a private entity had "control of the sidewalks" for several hours. (In fact, the permit in question -- a red carpet event permit! -- actually guarantees citizens' rights to walk and even engage in political assembly on the streets if they do not block pedestrian traffic, as the OWS protesters were not.)

I want to address the issue of "disruption," as Bloomberg is sending this issue out as a talking point brought up on Keith Olbermann's Coundown last night: the neighbors around Zuccotti Square, says Bloomberg, are feeling "disrupted" by the noise and visitors to the OWS protest, so he is going to crack down to "strike a balance" to address their complaints. Other OWS organizers have let me know that the Parks Department and various municipalities are trying to find a way to eject other protesters from public space on a similar basis of argument.

Please, citizens of America -- please, OWS -- do not buy into this rhetorical framework: an absolute "right to be free of disruption" from First Amendment activity does not exist in a free republic. But the right to engage in peaceable disruption does exist.

Citizens who live or work near protest sites or marches have every right to be free of violence from protesters and they should never be subjected to destruction of property. This is why I am always saying to OWS and to anyone who wants to assemble: be PEACEFUL PEACEFUL PEACEFUL. Be respectful to police, do not yell at them; sing, don't chant; be civil to pedestrians and shop owners; don't escalate tensions; try to sit when there is tension rather than confront physically; be dignified and be nonviolent.

But the First Amendment means that it actually is not up to the mayor or the police of any municipality, or to the Parks Department, or to any local municipality to prohibit public assembly if the assembly is peaceful but disruptive in many ways.

Peaceful, lawful protest -- if it is effective -- IS innately disruptive of "business as usual." That is WHY it is effective.

The Soviet Union was brought down by peaceful mass protest that blocked the streets and filled public squares. Many white residents of Birmingham Alabama in the 1960s would have said it was very disruptive to have all these African Americans marching through Birmingham or protesting the murder of children in churches. The addresses by Dr. King on the Mall were disruptive of the daily life of D.C. King himself marched without permits when permits were unlawfully applied. It is disruptive to sit at a whites-only counter and refuse to move and be covered with soda and pelted with debris and dragged off by police. It disrupted the Birmingham bus system for African Americans in the Civil Rights movement to organize a bus boycott. It is disruptive when people refuse to sit at the back of the bus.

When Bonus Marches -- thousands of unemployed and desperate former veterans who had been promised and denied their bonus checks in the Depression, which they needed to feed their families -- camped out for months on the Mall in D.C. and sat daily (when this was possible) on the steps of Congress, they won, eventually, because of the disruption. Some of the power of real protest, which is peaceful and patient and civil but disruptive, comes from the emotional power of the human face-to-face: all those Congresspeople had to look those hungry men in the eyes on their way to legislate the decision about the bonus.

Most of us need to remember, or learn for the first time (since this information is usually concealed from us) that the First Amendment, and the Constitution in general, supersedes all the laws of municipalities in violation of the constitution, as stated in the 1925 Gitlow v. New York ruling. So the First Amendment supersedes the restrictive permit laws now being invoked against protesters. The First Amendment was designed to allow for disruption of business as usual. It is not a quiet and subdued amendment or right.

Indeed, our nation's founding was a series of rowdy and intense protests, disrupting business as usual for tax collectors and mercenaries up and down the eastern seaboard. Even after the establishment of the new nation massive, highly disruptive protests of various laws, Congressional actions, and even of foreign policy were absolutely standard expressions of political speech, and whether they liked the opinions expressed or not, these protests were spoken of by Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Washington and others -- some of whom themselves were the subjects of these protests -- as part of the system they had set in place working, and the obligation of American citizens.

Dr. King, when asked about disruption, said that the disruption caused by peaceful protest is good and healthy in a society, because it is the result of festering problems that need to be addressed and that are buried being brought into light to be dealt with constructively.

But I would want to remind OWS, and any protesting group, that peaceful and dignified disruption of business as usual is very different from violence, anarchy or rioting, which must always be avoided. This is why I keep telling OWS and others: be peaceful. Don't march in a militaristic way. Don't cover your faces or let anyone with you cover their faces. Bring old people. Bring kids. Bring instruments, form bands of musicians and singers. Don't fight. Don't destroy property.

If neighbors complain about mess, bring brooms (as the Egyptians did) and clean up, not just the park but the whole neighborhood. Bake cookies FOR the neighbors. Be the good examples of civil society that you want to spread. Bring whole families (good job with that family sleepover in Zuccotti Park last night). I would go further: emulate the Civil Rights movement and wear your Sunday best at key times when you protest. Wear suits and dresses when it is practical, or wear red, white and blue when conditions are rougher. Bring American flags. Bring the Constitution. Don't give the narrators any excuse to marginalize you because of the visuals or because of any individuals' erratic or anarchic behavior.

My grandma, Fay Goleman, died last year at 96, at just around this time of year. She loved this county -- LOVED this country -- and I felt her memory very strongly when I could not physically move out of the arresting officer's way last Tuesday. She was born to refugees from the Czar's Russia, and she knew what police and military intimidation of free speech and free assembly meant. Dr. Goleman, who was barely five feet tall but who had an enormous spirit, marched decade after decade for seventy years: she marched for peace; against the nuclear bomb; for civil rights and so on. She spoke up at town councils and served on local government commissions and believed that people had the responsibility to govern their own communities and to take action and not just complain. She always wore hats and white gloves when she marched, and she held herself in that context with great lady-likeness and civility.

This formality was partly to honor the great gift and great occasion that is the American gift of free assembly. And she always said: "Activism is the rent we must pay for the privilege of living in a democracy. Protest is how you pay your civic rent." (Tiny as she was, she also had no patience for people who were willing to be deterred from the path they knew was right by bullies.)

She taught me that activism and petitioning government for redress of grievances is not a choice if you live in America. If you are American, it is an obligation. The Founders did not give this task to us as an option, but rather demanded it as an obligation: we are compelled by their social contract in the Constitution to protest and engage in free assembly when government has stopped listening to us. That is why the First Amendment comes first: everything else flows from it and is built upon it.

You can borrow my Grandma Fay's example and memory, if it is helpful: I am sure she would not mind and, indeed, would probably get a kick out of it. But you can also borrow Gandhi's or Dr. King's, for that matter, who made enormous disruptions -- the biggest of disruptions -- of daily life in Birmingham and D.C. and Delhi and in the brokerage houses of the London financial markets -- with the great discipline of peacefulness and nonviolence.

Bloomberg is flat wrong, and he doubtless knows it but hopes you won't notice: New Yorkers have no right to be free of any disruption from the peaceful but disruptive free-speech actions of their fellow citizens, and how New Yorkers lawfully and peacefully assert their First Amendment rights is actually not up to him. There is a higher authority than Michael Bloomberg, or than the NYPD, or even than the guy in the white shirt who signaled to his colleagues to handcuff me earlier this week when I stood peacefully on a sidewalk, obeying what I had confirmed to be the law: and that higher authority is called the Constitution of the United States of America.



#2 TEO

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:07 PM

Be the good example. :clapping:

#3 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:08 PM

Please, citizens of America -- please, OWS -- do not buy into this rhetorical framework: an absolute "right to be free of disruption" from First Amendment activity does not exist in a free republic. But the right to engage in peaceable disruption does exist.


I agree except, the republic really dissolved during the civil war. I would like to see it restored though.

Great post, jwheels. :gop:

#4 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:11 PM

There is a higher authority than Michael Bloomberg, or than the NYPD, or even than the guy in the white shirt who signaled to his colleagues to handcuff me earlier this week when I stood peacefully on a sidewalk, obeying what I had confirmed to be the law: and that higher authority is called the Constitution of the United States of America.


:clapping:

#5 Dr. Lostreality

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:20 PM

Naomi Wolf is awesome...she is a major factor in what inspired me to go into professional feminism, and I think she is emerging as one of the leaders in this movement as well (insofar as it has leaders...but I do think some are emerging, and she is one of them).

#6 Jwheelz

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:26 PM

I thought she wrote a very well thought out piece, and it's the first time I've really understood the full meaning and extent of the assembly rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by the First Amendment, in any kind of practical way. And it really is easy to forget that the U.S. Constitution supersedes state and local government policies that are in violation of it.

#7 Joker

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:59 PM

I wonder if she'd feel that way if thousands of people decided to set up camp in front of her house to protest something she didn't believe in.

#8 Jwheelz

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:09 AM

I wonder if she'd feel that way if thousands of people decided to set up camp in front of her house to protest something she didn't believe in.


I'm willing to say yes, I think she really would... of course I have no way of knowing for sure :dunno:

#9 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:19 AM

I wonder if she'd feel that way if thousands of people decided to set up camp in front of her house to protest something she didn't believe in.


Hi Jack

Isn't her point that it doesn't matter how people feel about it (including her), that the right to do it outweighs the people's inconvenience as a result of it?

Do you have the same criticisms of the Civil Rights and Vietnam Protests that you do of the Occupy protest?

#10 TEO

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:22 AM

I wonder if she'd feel that way if thousands of people decided to set up camp in front of her house to protest something she didn't believe in.


Takes a strong person to work their way through that one. Then there are the neighbors...

#11 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:23 AM

And complaints about the mess? seriously, have they seen NY :lol:

I mean, how far beyond the park does the mess extend?

And, again, maybe they ought be concerned about the corporations that create far greater "messes" than a few hundred tent dwellers.

#12 robberry

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:33 AM

Brookfield has expressed concern, and eventually they will "remove" the protesters. At some point, Bloomberg is going to have to "let them" occupy a city funded park. I'm assuming this will be done next month when most people start staying indoors 24/7. Maybe they'll get camping use of the Great Lawn behind the MET. Hell, even I'd have to go camp there for a few days just for the hell of it. :lol:

#13 robberry

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:35 AM

And complaints about the mess? seriously, have they seen NY :lol:

I mean, how far beyond the park does the mess extend?

And, again, maybe they ought be concerned about the corporations that create far greater "messes" than a few hundred tent dwellers.


The 1% don't go to "those" parts of town. Hell, even I don't go to those parts of town. :lol:

That's "not happening" in "their backyard." Kind of like, I support wind power, but I'll be damned if you install a turbine near my house.

#14 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:16 PM

Hi Jack

Isn't her point that it doesn't matter how people feel about it (including her), that the right to do it outweighs the people's inconvenience as a result of it?

Do you have the same criticisms of the Civil Rights and Vietnam Protests that you do of the Occupy protest?


I guess it depends on the level of "inconvenience" that results.

Say I had a handful of people who wanted a stop sign put up at a dangerous intersection and the city wouldn't do it. Does that give us the right to set up camp on front of the mayor's house and create a loud disturbance in his neighborhood protesting the decision?

What if the form of protest we chose was screaming fire in a theater?

Or standing in the middle of the street blocking traffic?

My point is that those not involved in the protest also have rights that need to be protected.

What if those protesting at the mayor's house make so much noise the neighbors can't sleep? What if the neighbor is a doctor who ends up botching an operation? What if that neighbor is a school bus driver that ends up dozing off at the wheel?
What if those blocking the street end up causing the delay of emergency personnel to an accident where folks end up dying?

#15 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:37 PM

Hi Jack

My concern is it sets a pretty dangerous precedent when we allow subjective claims of "disruption" to trump the First Amendment. Do we realize the doors this opens to government entities cracking down on any type of protest? "Sorry, the neighbors can't sleep." Clear risks to people's lives are one thing (screaming "fire") but when we move away from that.....

Aside from that, how close is residential housing, all I saw were businesses in the surrounding area when I was there?

edit: I just looked up the law - there are noise ordinances http://www.nonoise.o...ies/newyork.htm

#16 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:46 PM

It's definitely a fine line. I have no idea how close it is in this case. Would/should the distance make a difference? That takes us into the "protest zone" area. :bang:

#17 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:46 PM

Our rights and freedoms as US citizens are ALWAYS > perceived "inconvenience".

Jack, I love ya man, but you have to realize that just about every single thing you cited above has been used at one time or another as an excuse to squelch freedom of expression. I'm just not going to buy that.


The Soviet Union was brought down by peaceful mass protest that blocked the streets and filled public squares. Many white residents of Birmingham Alabama in the 1960s would have said it was very disruptive to have all these African Americans marching through Birmingham or protesting the murder of children in churches. The addresses by Dr. King on the Mall were disruptive of the daily life of D.C. King himself marched without permits when permits were unlawfully applied. It is disruptive to sit at a whites-only counter and refuse to move and be covered with soda and pelted with debris and dragged off by police. It disrupted the Birmingham bus system for African Americans in the Civil Rights movement to organize a bus boycott. It is disruptive when people refuse to sit at the back of the bus.


This is so perfectly on target. :clapping:


Great find Jordan! :Phishfolk:

#18 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:51 PM

I missed the right to an inconvenience free existence myself .....

#19 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:52 PM

I don't know what any of this means but here are the standards:

(1) Ambient noise quality zone N-1: Ambient noise quality zone N-I shall consist of those low ; density residential areas RL presently designated as land-use zones R-I, R-2, and R-3.
(2) Ambient noise quality zone N-2: Ambient noise quality zone N-2 shall consist of those high density residential areas RH presently designated as land-use zones R-4, R-5, R-6, R-7, R-8, R-9, and R-10.
(3) Ambient noise quality zone N-3: Ambient noise quality zone N-3 shall consist of all commercial and industrial areas presently designated as land-use zones C-I, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5, C-6, C-7, C-8, M-I, M-2, and M-3.
(4) Other ambient noise quality zones: Should other land-use zones be established, including special zoning districts, the commissioner shall recommend to the city council the appropriate ambient noise quality zones, criteria and standards. (B) Ambient noise quality criteria and standards. Ambient noise quality criteria and standards are established and tabulated below for each of the three ambient noise quality zones that have been defined in subdivision (a) above. Not included in the standard are contributions to the sound level from natural sounds such as birds and thunder and sound sources outside the boundaries of the noise source such as public highways, vehicular traffic and overflying aircraft.
16 Ambient noise quality zone Day-time standards
(7am - 10pm) Night-time standards
(10pm - 7am) Noise quality zone N-1
(Low density residential RL; land-use zones R-1 to R-3 Leq=60 dB(A) measured for any one hour Leq=50 dB(A) measured for any one hour Noise quality zone N-2
(High density residential RH;
land-use zones R-4 to R-10) Leq=65 dB(A) measured for any one hour Leq=55 dB(A) measured for any one hour Noise quality zone N-3
(All Commercial and manufacturing land-use zones) Leq=70 dB(A) measured for any one hour Leq=70 dB(A) measured for any one hour

#20 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:56 PM

It's definitely a fine line. I have no idea how close it is in this case. Would/should the distance make a difference? That takes us into the "protest zone" area. :bang:


Well, in the case of claims being made here, I am interested in how close residents are (to assess how legitimate their claims are). Also, are these claims documented? Have people made formal complaints to police about inability to sleep? Just curious

#21 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:00 PM

I missed the right to an inconvenience free existence myself .....


Bloomberg is working on that Amendment :coffee:

#22 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:01 PM

Bloomberg is working on that Amendment :coffee:


As well as one to appoint him Grand Poobah, Dictator, Supreme Ruler and Lord of All Things.

United States of Bloomberg.

#23 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:05 PM

As well as one to appoint him Grand Poobah, Dictator, Supreme Ruler and Lord of All Things.

United States of Bloomberg.


:lol:

mornin, spider :smile:

#24 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:21 PM

Our rights and freedoms as US citizens are ALWAYS > perceived "inconvenience".

Jack, I love ya man, but you have to realize that just about every single thing you cited above has been used at one time or another as an excuse to squelch freedom of expression. I'm just not going to buy that.

Used as an excuse or a legitimate concern?

Does one have the right to do things that could endanger the lives of others?

#25 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:33 PM

Nobody is endangering any lives. Drums don't kill people. They just annoy them.

#26 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:35 PM

:lol:

#27 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:35 PM

Gregoir wouldn't last an hour :lol:

#28 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:37 PM

Well, in the case of claims being made here, I am interested in how close residents are (to assess how legitimate their claims are). Also, are these claims documented? Have people made formal complaints to police about inability to sleep? Just curious

I would hope they are legitimate complaints but I have no clue.

I was speaking more towards the writer's claim that it's our right to disrupt "society."
If that's the case why have laws at all?

#29 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

If disruption includes breaking the law, then it isnt a right. Unless we are going under the guise that challenging unjust laws is a civic duty.

#30 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

Well, our right is Freedom of Speech, disruption may result as an unfortunate (but sometimes necessary) byproduct of that.

#31 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:52 PM

Nobody is endangering any lives. Drums don't kill people. They just annoy them.

No, but folks illegally blocking or marching on streets can slow or prevent emergency response teams and that can lead to injuries and deaths. What if the bridge that they closed down was the most direct route for a fire call or to someone having a heart attack?

I'm all for them protesting and I support the cause but if it's not done legally then yes it can, and has, endangered the lives of others. That nobody has gotten hurt or died yet is a good thing but eventually something bad will occur.

#32 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:09 PM

Life is not free if danger regardless jack. If i walk off a crowded sidewalk and get hit by a bus, is the commuting workforce to blame? If i have a heart attack during rush hour traffic in midtown and the ambulance cant get to me and i die, should the drivers be blamed?

I think you get the idea. This thought that if everyone obeys all the rules no one will ever get hurt or die is ridiculous. People die every day. Impeding traffic from protests that causes potential death is the same as say a marathon that shuts down sgreets and someone cant get treatment fast enoigh and dies...ban marathons?

#33 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

note: some of the bad things already occurring are from the police.

NY rush hour traffic makes it difficult for emergency help to get through as well.

#34 vic

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:10 PM

Nobody is endangering any lives. Drums don't kill people. They just annoy them.


this.

jack, you must be made of elastic you're stretching so hard here

#35 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:12 PM

Something bad can occur whilst you're in your bathroom taking a shit, but that shouldn't give Bloomberg or the rest of the establishment to tell you that you have to hold it in until you get sick. Something bad can happen anywhere, at any time and for any reason. That's a lame excuse for oppression and a slippery slope indeed.

Plus, with a few brief exceptions, I don't recall hearing about any significant disruptions to other emergency response.

#36 vic

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:12 PM

What if the bridge that they closed down was the most direct route for a fire call or to someone having a heart attack?


hmmm, good point...i agree.

it would have taken the protesters about 30 minutes to walk across the bridge, or less to be made to turn back.

the cops shut down the bridge for about 8+ hours to make a jail cell out of it.

#37 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:14 PM

hmmm, good point...i agree.

it would have taken the protesters about 30 minutes to walk across the bridge, or less to be made to turn back.

the cops shut down the bridge for about 8+ hours to make a jail cell out of it.


:clapping:

#38 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:19 PM

Side note: the article says nothing about blocking traffic, does it? I don't think Naomi is defending that (nor am I. It was not necessary or appropriate to block the bridge)

#39 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:29 PM

The article speaks of having an obligation to be disruptive, that's what I have a problem with.

I just don't see how it's acceptable for any group of people to do whatever they feel needs to be done to get what they want if it's going to endanger others.

#40 china cat

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:36 PM

I don't think anyone here is saying that a group of people can do whatever they feel needs to be done

#41 hoagie

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:57 PM

No, but folks illegally blocking or marching on streets can slow or prevent emergency response teams and that can lead to injuries and deaths. What if the bridge that they closed down was the most direct route for a fire call or to someone having a heart attack?

I'm all for them protesting and I support the cause but if it's not done legally then yes it can, and has, endangered the lives of others. That nobody has gotten hurt or died yet is a good thing but eventually something bad will occur.


Seems these re all good examples of how police could be better used to "protect and serve" tbeir employers, the people both protesting and those directly affected. Gotta go to a dr? Cops should help clear a path. Too much noise? Communicate the situation to the people to quiet down. Idealistic?

I cant imagine there are really that many people ope ly complaining that protesters should go away. Id like to see a list of these people and businesses, so i can avoid them altogether once this is all over.

#42 vic

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 03:11 PM

Id like to see a list of these people and businesses, so i can avoid them altogether once this is all over.


sign'd

#43 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 03:21 PM

I don't think anyone here is saying that a group of people can do whatever they feel needs to be done

No they're not but where does the line get drawn as far as what is considered acceptable disruption? I'd imagine the anarchists in the group would say they haven't come close to it yet

#44 hoagie

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 03:27 PM

No they're not but where does the line get drawn as far as what is considered acceptable disruption?


it is a PERSONAL choice that each person should make known. Businesses, you want the protestors gone, please speak up! Let it be known. I bet you wont be in business very long.

My point is, Joker, please show just one documented example of a business or resident who is clearly against this protest, because I dont think they really exist.

#45 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:07 PM

Life is not free if danger regardless jack. If i walk off a crowded sidewalk and get hit by a bus, is the commuting workforce to blame? If i have a heart attack during rush hour traffic in midtown and the ambulance cant get to me and i die, should the drivers be blamed?

I think you get the idea. This thought that if everyone obeys all the rules no one will ever get hurt or die is ridiculous. People die every day. Impeding traffic from protests that causes potential death is the same as say a marathon that shuts down sgreets and someone cant get treatment fast enoigh and dies...ban marathons?

I understand what you're saying. However there's a big difference between what is "normal" crowds and traffic as opposed to what a group that is purposely attempting to disrupt it to draw attention to itself and it's cause.

Marathons have permits, getting permits allows time to plan alternate routes for response teams and to position people to handle any problems that might arise. I can't see a problem with any protest that obtained the proper permits as that would allow time for planning such measures

Something bad can occur whilst you're in your bathroom taking a shit, but that shouldn't give Bloomberg or the rest of the establishment to tell you that you have to hold it in until you get sick. Something bad can happen anywhere, at any time and for any reason. That's a lame excuse for oppression and a slippery slope indeed.

Plus, with a few brief exceptions, I don't recall hearing about any significant disruptions to other emergency response.

That's just it, there's more than one side that's slippery.


As far as the article she's talking about being disruptive which pretty much means doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing. What if she decided it was disruptive and acceptable to block fire stations so the trucks couldn't go out at all?

Say it's a pro-life group that wanted to protest by blocking traffic, getting in people's faces, causing a disturbance etc... around a clinic, is that sort of thing an acceptable disruption?

#46 Joker

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:11 PM

it is a PERSONAL choice that each person should make known. Businesses, you want the protestors gone, please speak up! Let it be known. I bet you wont be in business very long.

My point is, Joker, please show just one documented example of a business or resident who is clearly against this protest, because I dont think they really exist.

I've seen a few people on the news speak out against it.

But again I'm speaking more to her point that we're obligated to be disruptive

#47 vic

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:12 PM



As far as the article she's talking about being disruptive which pretty much means doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing. What if she decided it was disruptive and acceptable to block fire stations so the trucks couldn't go out at all?

Say it's a pro-life group that wanted to protest by blocking traffic, getting in people's faces, causing a disturbance etc... around a clinic, is that sort of thing an acceptable disruption?


noone is blocking fire stations and pro-life groups already do that

#48 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:20 PM

As far as the article she's talking about being disruptive which pretty much means doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing. What if she decided it was disruptive and acceptable to block fire stations so the trucks couldn't go out at all?


Any protest action can be labeled disruptive by it's opponents. By that logic, no protests would ever be allowed. And your "what if" is irrelevant, as no such actions have been carried out or even discussed, as far as we know.

Say it's a pro-life group that wanted to protest by blocking traffic, getting in people's faces, causing a disturbance etc... around a clinic, is that sort of thing an acceptable disruption?


Old news. They already have, and still do. It's been litigated and legislated. And that is an action against specific individuals (the patient and her care-giver), which, IMO, is a different animal. As far as I have seen, OWS is protesting situations, policies and issues for the most part. Only a few rogues have accosted individual bankers, and that has not been blessed by the overall movement. The so-called "right to lifers" can picket and protest their brains out on the national mall, outside congress, etc. But they prefer to threaten violence against, and block access to facilities by the individual patients and providers. That is not okay. So it's a false equivalency.

#49 hoagie

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:22 PM

thats brilliant Spidergawd

#50 Spidergawd

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:24 PM

thats brilliant Spidergawd


Thanks. Should I be frightened that I seem to agree with you a lot lately?? :funny1: