The First Amendment of our 'Bill of Rights' in the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of the people to peacefully assemble and protest. That is such an important right, distinguishing democracy for other forms of government that our forefathers put it right in the first paragraph of the first amendment. However, the operative word here when talking about the Occupy Wall Street protests is “peacefully”. In news report after news report we see protests happening all around the country and in almost every single case they involve violence, intimidation and destruction. No one, no organization and no movement has the right to destroy property or injure people. When a protest even begins to turn to those tactics the authorities should immediately crack down, arrest the people responsible (that includes both the actual perpetrators and also the leaders encouraging and inciting the law breakers). If the violence or intimidation is chronic or widespread, the protest should be dispersed and allowed to re-apply for a permit to try again, more peacefully, at some other time.
In the case of the Occupy Wall Street protests this has not been happening. I believe this is because the authorities are intimidated. They have been cowed by political correctness, bias media coverage (which is thankfully beginning to change), and by the fact that dozens of prominent celebrities and politicians have gone to the protests (the parts the have remained relatively peaceful), and expressed support for the movement. This activity and quiet intimidation must stop as well. The people comprising the wider Occupy Wall Street movement must look to its ranks and clean out the bad elements, including the angry youths looking for an excuse to act out, the union thugs looking to intimidate voters, the street gangs looking for a quick score in the confusion and the criminal predators looking to find victims unable to summon quick assistance. It must identify and condemn those who turn to crime, violence and intimidation. Its failure to do that has already cost the movement credibility in the eyes of the “quiet majority” of the American public.
Unless this ‘grass roots’ movement does that, and does it right away, it will simply go to seed and produce nothing but weeds hiding and chocking anything beneficial that may try to grow from it.
Live Long and Prosper…(peacefully)...