Good short reading on the Occupy Movement and free speech for college freshmen.
September 18, 2012 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Good short reading on the Occupy Movement and free speech for college freshmen.

I'd like to find a short reading (2 pages or less) for a group of college freshmen outlining some of the key free speech issues surrounding the Occupy Movement. I'd like the reading to highlight issues such as time/place/manner restrictions and their impact on this movement, the use of symbolic speech like tents, etc. Ideally the reading would be more on the 'factual' side rather than the 'advocacy' side and would more be about laying out relevant issues. If there is a regional focus (not necessary), something based in California would be ideal (something dealing with one of the UC campuses, Occupy Oakland, etc.).
posted by rainbowbrite to Education (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Good on you for covering this issue. Not sure if it would be helpful, but artist/journalist Susie Cagle has devoted the last couple years to covering Occupy Oakland in both comics and articles, your college freshman might find it interesting (check the sidebar for many links).

She also has an article here that gives an interesting overview, but longer than 2 pages (one could always excerpt).
posted by iadacanavon at 7:48 PM on September 18, 2012

NYTimes Magazine did a pretty even-handed piece on Occupy Oakland called "The Last Refuge of Radical America" - it is illuminating in both the history of activism in Oakland, and how that relates to Occupy Wall St. as well as relations with local government.
Arturo Sanchez, an earnest young deputy city administrator, was dispatched to serve as Oakland’s liaison to the movement. His brief was to both express the city’s concerns about the camp and to listen to the protesters’ complaints. He quickly learned that the protesters wanted nothing to do with him or anyone else representing the city. “It’s a shame,” he says. “If they had come to us with an agenda, we’re probably one of the few cities that would have written resolutions and lobbied our state legislators and sent a message along with our mayor when she went to the White House.”
This is a great explainer of the way Oakland handled Occupy Oakland that explains a lot.

This is a pretty good summary of a report called Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the Police Response to Occupy Wall Street that's a bit longer than you want, I think.
It is impossible to overstate the chilling effect on speech produced by the NYPD's tactics. In interviews with dozens of Occupy participants, journalists, legal observers, lawyers, and others, interviewees expressed fear of the police and a hesitation to participate in future protest activity because of the unpredictable and aggressive nature of the police response. Many of the people we interviewed said that they felt the police could do whatever they wanted to protesters, with complete impunity.
Here is a summary of city's responses of making feeding homeless illegal in response to OWS, even if it's from infowars. For context, Mother Jones explains Homelessness' connection to OWS.
Well before Tahrir Square was a twinkle in anyone's eye, and even before the recent recession, homeless Americans had begun to act in their own defense, creating organized encampments, usually tent cities, in vacant lots or wooded areas. These communities often feature various elementary forms of self-governance: food from local charities has to be distributed, latrines dug, rules—such as no drugs, weapons, or violence—enforced. With all due credit to the Egyptian democracy movement, the Spanish indignados, and rebels all over the world, tent cities are the domestic progenitors of the American occupation movement.
posted by ejfox at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

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