Here’s the thing: I do not care if people are on the plaza protesting that the sky is blue, priests are catholic or the rules regarding white shoes and Labor Day. Hell, I will take to the street about that last one.
They can make damn fools of themselves day in and day out. But sending squads of state police officers in there with billy-bad-ass syndrome is a tactical mistake, and flies in the face of every citizen’s (that means your) First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. It does not get much more cut and dry than that. The magistrate said as much when he ordered those arrested to be set free, dismissed the charges and warned the arresting officers that they have perhaps crossed a bridge too far.
Arresting a journalist (non participant) and attempting to trump up the charges while the camera rolls opens a Pandora’s box of issues and headaches for the Governor’s office. When this is all said and done, he’ll wish he had just let them sit out there and freeze until they finally got bored and went home.
I am apathetic to the occupy protests. Not really how I operate, preferring instead to work within the painfully broken system. But I am not apathetic to any action by our state government to restrict their First Amendment rights. “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”