Occupy Boston was cleared out of Dewey Square last night because a judge ruled that First Amendment rights don't apply to people if they might get beat up for what they say.
That's right. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre ruled the Occupiers had no right to camp in the square. McIntyre also wrote this disturbing remark:
Little in the way of expression is outlawed under the United States Constitution, but an act which incites a lawful forceful response is unlikely to pass as expressive speech. (H/T Boston Phoenix)Hard to believe we live in a country where corporations have unlimited freedom of speech but people lose theirs if they say something that might get them hit on the head.
Here's the Associated Press on what happened last night:
Forty-six people were arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said. No injuries were reported.
The entire operation lasted less than an hour. Crews then entered the area to begin cleaning it.
Protesters first erected the encampment on Sept. 30. Many pulled up stakes and left the encampment Thursday after learning of the midnight deadline Mayor Thomas Menino had set for them to leave the square, but others stayed, and some said they were prepared to be arrested.
While Menino previously had said the city had no plans to forcibly remove the encampment, he appeared to become increasingly impatient with the protesters in recent days, saying the occupation had become a public health and safety hazard. He issued his ultimatum after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the protesters had no right to stay in Dewey Square.