Posts Tagged ‘first ammendment rights’

From the May 2012 issue of LAM:

Sarah Stierch

Park design, regulation, and the Occupy protests.

By Lydia DePillis

As the Occupy movement mushroomed around the country
last October, most aspiring activists didn’t agonize over
which patch of grass or concrete to take over in solidarity with those who were camping out on Wall Street.

For many, the answer was obvious. Most cities have traditional protest spaces, like a central downtown square or the grounds in front of city hall such as Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, California. In Washington, D.C., as in New York, protesters camped out at sites with symbolic importance. The choice of D.C.’s Freedom Plaza was a reference to Cairo’s Tahrir Square—which means liberation square in Arabic—ground zero of the Arab Spring. And McPherson Square, another Occupy campsite, is on K Street, which is lined with lobbying firms.

Decisions about where to protest were often accidental. Occupy Wall Street had initially planned to take over the space around the bull statue in front of One Chase Manhattan Plaza but failed to secure a permit, so police fenced off the space before the group could move in. Protesters settled on nearby Zuccotti Park, which, because it was a privately owned public space, did not require the large group of protesters to obtain a permit. Occupy Atlanta took over Woodruff Park because a sympathetic group, the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, happened to have a permit for the space on the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. (more…)

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