The Occupy movement is fascinating me on so many levels; first as a amateur sociologist, second as a student of law, and finally, as a fed up citizen of the United States. I was a sociology minor in undergrad, which strangely prepared me for the study of law. But it is at times like this that I truly am amazed at how systems push back and forth against each other.
While studying this subject, I focused on social movements and protests... Every radical protest in the 1900's started with the militants and the college students. They made ridiculous demands. Yet, the movements grew and as that happened, the average citizen joined and the demands became reasonable. Size has everything to do with a successful protest, but also, persistence... especially if what you are protesting is the government. So far, it looks as if Occupy is here to stay.
The student of law looks to the first amendment. Yes there is a right to protest, but what and how far can this go? What about when the protestors right violates one of mine: say like walking peacefully through my favorite park or driving down a road. What then?
Early yesterday morning, the city of Portland arrested protestors that had shut down Main Street. Many were outraged. But the question remains, whose rights are more important?
This is interesting times for sure. Will Occupy stick around long enough to become a powerful voice, rather than the irritant it is right now? Only time will tell......