To the editor:
Occupy Lawrence campers are not sure what city officials will decide from day to day, but some things are clear: Occupy Wall Street solidarity protests are going on in small communities and big cities across the United States and in countries all over the world. They are generally peaceful and well organized, and motivated by a desire for fair and equitable financial and economic policies, and for those who prosper at the expense of others via unethical and illegal practices to be held responsible for their actions.
The only differences between occupations are the reactions by police and city officials, which range from respectful coexistence to mass arrests and assaults upon peaceful, law-abiding individuals simply assembling and expressing their opinions.
With no laws broken and no threat, officials here have a choice: keep the peace and serve and protect, or crack down on fellow citizens who are giving time and energy to participate in the democratic process.
OL campers are politically astute, caring, articulate and industrious individuals, sacrificing their own comfort and safety in order to be a visual and vocal presence in our community to raise awareness of issues and policies that affect us all (or at least 99 percent of us).
Lawrence is known for past violence in a long history of political participation, dissent and activism. Today, for a group who’ve put their lives on hold for a larger cause and on behalf of the rest of us, a simple permit to occupy a corner of a large public park isn’t too much to ask.