I rarely, if ever, talk about politics on this blog. It’s not its function. But I don’t really believe that I can do anything else but make an exception for the Occupy movement. Because as writers, freedom of speech has to be very important to us. And I believe that the Occupy movement is showing that we really don’t have that freedom or the freedom to protest anymore.
I’m not going to talk about the principles or goals of the movement. You can read about those yourself–here. What I will say is that if protesters have a permit for a protest, they should be allowed to carry it out. And yet, in Denver, where protesters had a permit to be at the Capital, they were driven back by police. They have been pepper sprayed and hit with rubber bullets. They have had the police come at them in full riot gear, trying to shut down what was–again, a peaceful protest. And the Occupy protesters are facing just that kind of uphill battle across the country.
Whatever you think of the Occupy movement, you have to wonder how peaceful protest could draw so much police action. And as writers, I think we need to speak up for freedom of speech.