No one can seriously deny that Occupy Minnesota and other similar actions across the country that have flared up over the past several months are, by and large, at least, peaceful protests. As such, they are a cherished expression of some of our country’s most tightly held values: the freedom of speech.
On the other hand, while the U.S. Constitution protects the right to peaceably assemble, it is not commonly understood to throw open all public lands to free camping.
So held Sr. U.S. District Court Richard H. Kyle (D. Minn.) last week in response to Occupy Minnesota’s motion for a temporary restraining order against several actions taken by Hennepin Count in response to Occupy Minnesota.
Judge Kyle concludes his opinion with the practical suggestion that the litigation adversaries hammer out a balance of free speech rights and the County’s interests in public safety, health, and welfare. Apparently the Law and Occupy forces managed this in Dallas, Texas (or maybe not).