Monday, April 16, 2012

"Occupy Rockford" rebuffed

The print edition of the Northwest Herald today carried an article in its "State Briefs" about Saturday's Occupy Rockford effort that failed, thanks to prompt action by the Rockford Police Department.

The online version of the Northwest Herald did not include that story.

Protesters had marched to a city-owned lot and intended to set up a camp. The police were ready and acted quickly to prevent it.

What would happen if a similar "occupy" action started in Woodstock? or McHenry? or Crystal Lake? Are police trained and prepared to step in immediately? Let's hope so.

Adequate preparation would mean written plans, assignments, available manpower upon demand, and anticipation of necessary escalation, if occupiers don't promptly comply with lawful orders. If they take over public or private property unlawfully, they should be given one calm, clear order to move along and take their "stuff" with them.

If they don't, then they should be arrested. They already know they are subject to arrest. They know this before they even start out. So they won't be surprised. What should surprise them is the unwillingness of authorities to engage in deliberations, conversation, negotiation or anything else to slows down their disbanding.

If the City Council or the Police Chief were asked, "What action will you take, if Occupy Woodstock tries to take over the Park in the Square, Emricson Park, Raintree Park, City Hall or any other public facility? Or if it tries to take over a private building (meaning, without the owner's permission)?"


Unknown said...

So your viewpoint on the matter is: let's forget about the first amendment and kick out a group of peaceful protesters for congregating at a public lot on city owned property to petition to redress grievances?

What if the police gave you an order to take down your blog because it violates the freedom of the press and if you didn't you'd be arrested?

Would you take your "stuff" and move on down the information superhighway?

Gus said...

Gathering for peaceful protest and setting up a camp are two different things.