Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.
The Sun used this headline in an editorial Monday, “Occupy Wall Street demonstrations a good use of the Bill of Rights.”
The Occupy Wall Street and similar demonstrations elsewhere showcase our right to assemble. That said, I question the wisdom of how this group is going about it and whether it is a “good” way to do so.
First, there is a growing demand on public services to handle trash and waste. The bill for this is being picked up by taxpayers or by the owners of the facilities, often with little or no reciprocal compensation by the demonstrators in the form of purchases of goods and/or services. This is not going to generate goodwill among the group from whom the demonstrators need support.
Second, we have a right to peaceful assembly. There are growing numbers of arrests and other incidents that cause others to think this might be turning into a mob, rightly or wrongly.
Third, the groups are ripe for the picking by others who do have well-defined (if not always well-known) agendas, as has been hinted at in some cases. Just as many feel the Tea Party has been hijacked by outsiders, it looks like the same is happening with the OWS movement, and in about the same time frame.
This is indeed a use of the Bill of Rights, but I can hardly call it a “good” use as the Sun does. The modern standard was set by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Occupy Wall Street movement doesn’t meet it.