Our Right To Public Space

from OccupyHumboldt Newsletter

Our Right To Public Space

CONSTITUTIONAL STUDIES 101


From the HSU Clock Tower

    The Humboldt Occupations stand against corporate greed and political corruption. ‘Occupy’ is taking back public spaces, making a display of democratic action. It is our constitutional right to assemble and protest the systematic shortcomings of our Republic.

     In defense of the First Amendment, Supreme Court Justice Black issued an opinion in 1939, saying, “Wherever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions. Such use of the streets and public places has from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens.” (Hague v. CIO) While Judge Black was the dissenting opinion of his time, by the 1960’s, his words would become the majority voice of Supreme Court decisions, and would be reiterated in case law time and time again.

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