Occupy Movements Wins Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment to the United States constitution states that congress shall make no law abridging or suppressing freedom of speech. This has grown to include public demonstrations, candle light vigils, wearing symbols on one's clothing and other peaceful assemblies. Many people believe if a private party suppresses their freedom to speak that this is a violation of their rights, it is not. The Occupy Wall Street protest or encampment has been taking place in cities across America for over a year now, but originated and has the most momentum in New York City. With no one clear leader, target, or goal it is hard to defend their right to freedom of demonstration. And even if there was a clear target corporations are protected under the same rights, under corporate personhood. The amendment to free speech only prohibits when the state or federal government creates the oppression; there are no clear laws if the police force is part of the "state" but it could be highly the closest entity that interacts with the public as a governmental proxy.
The First Amendment's rights are not absolute and as straightforward as most citizens believe, as the government may determine the venue, time and manner in which protestors may assemble. These restrictions are based on maintaining order, not on suppressing a particular message, purpose or doctrine. And certainly the state may intervene if these demonstrations are designed to cause or incite violent actions or other crime related activities.
In cities and towns across the country, 1,500 American citizens have been put in cuffs in the first month of the Occupy Wall Street movement. While a small handful of them have been charged with various acts of mayhem, the vast majority were peacefully demonstrating. They were arrested...