I plan on working with the CAP students to restore parts of this in some manner. Keeping it here as a placeholder.
First Amendment and Occupy Charlottesville
Are the freedoms of assembly, expression, and speech upheld in all circumstances to the specifications of the first amendment? We decided to focus on the protests around the world that started with the protest in Wall Street because this is a perfect example of our first amendment rights being put to the test.
Most of the protests were organized by a permit that had some restrictions and certain boundaries they had to follow. For example, the Charlottesville protesters were allowed to stay in Lee Park but had to follow certain protocols in order to stay there. This was the first permit that they allowed to go on for as long as it did. Lee Park had to remain clean and picked-up, utilities had to be personally paid for, and a general sense of peaceful communications had to be present between city officials and the occupiers. Being so close to downtown, there are numerous amounts of homeless and jobless individuals that were looking for somewhere to stay.
The movement turned into a decentralized one, lacking structure and direct goals; higher crime rates and people losing sight of what they were really fighting for. This lead to the dismissal of Occupy Charlottesville protesting in Lee Park; a council meeting was held and they were allowed to speak their peace to attempt to persuade their peers and the other council members to allow them another location to protest at. There was the offer for them to be moved to McIntire Park, but the protesters refused to move until it was too late. The council meeting also talked about new procedures in order to obtain a permit and a new set of rules that will direct permits if a protest like this would ever rise again. In the first set of permits, it’s declared that the protest must be peaceful; the Occupy Charlottesville was a peaceful protest until unwanted individuals started mixing in with the occupiers, causing the blame to be wrongfully placed on the protesters.
There were multiple accounts of crimes within the occupy movement. For example, three homeless men decided to intoxicate two under-aged young ladies, who were hospitalized and released to their parents. Similarly to the hostility of three members of the movement who had to be forcefully removed from Lee Park when the permit expired, the protesters of other places around the world wouldn’t leave their protesting location peacefully. This resulted in the end of the Occupy Charlottesville, as well as numerous places nation-wide.
While other protesters in other places were unfairly treated by city officials, being arrested or pepper sprayed, far warning was issued in majority cases, so the placement of the blame was on the protesters and not the law officials. Violence by police and those who uphold the law is only enforced when necessary and all other forms of collaboration have been exhausted.