'Occupation' contrary to constitutionally protected peaceful protest

'Occupation' contrary to constitutionally protected peaceful protest

February 2nd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Some of the so-called Occupy Wall Street protests around the country have descended into hooliganism and even rioting.

In Nashville, protesters have threatened to occupy the Capitol as well as travel centers owned by Gov. Bill Haslam's family if legislation to evict them from their unreasonable encampment in Legislative Plaza passes.

That threat shows an alarming disrespect for the rule of law, but that is tame by comparison with what is happening in California and some other states.

In Oakland, Calif., last Saturday, three police officers were injured in what Reuters news service labeled "running skirmishes" with Occupy Wall Street protesters.

"[A]ctivists sought to take over a shuttered downtown convention center, sparking cat-and-mouse battles ...," Reuters reported.

"Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares," the Oakland Police Department said.

Meanwhile, in New York City, six officers were injured in protests that led to rioting charges against four demonstrators.

Rioting and the use of force to take over private property are not the "peaceable assembly" protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.