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General News

Can't Occupy? Then do a "Walk About"

By       Message Richmond Shreve     Permalink
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Those who want to protest find there are many ways the authorities can lawfully constrain them. We've watched as the police cleared parks of campers, sometimes brutally.  But even in less publicized demonstrations protesters come up against barriers.  Here in our local community of Cape May when the American Dream movement wanted to have a rally at the town park bandstand they were told to apply for a permit and provide proof of liability insurance, both of which requirements are perfectly lawful. Since the "group" isn't even an organization, has no leadership hierarchy, and raises no funds the barrier seemed insurmountable.

Rebuild the American Dream by
American Dream Movement
These folks aren't your typical rabble rousing activists. Most are senior citizens who are sympathetic with the sentiments that inspired the occupy demonstrations.  They distribute a four page handout cataloging and explaining why they and the rest of the 99% have taken to the street.

Cape May Walk About by Tina Giaimo

Instead of a rally they convened a walk about .  The group carried their signs and walked through the commercial district with individuals pausing to greet and talk with people on the street. They answered questions and passed out palm cards and pamphlets. They were greeted with smiles and thumbs-up gestures. Passing cars signaled agreement by sounding horns. From time to time they did simple call-and-response cheers--slogans that evoked the issues they were protesting.

This sort of Walk-About protest doesn't require that a group assemble. It can be organized by simply agreeing to show up in a public space.  It doesn't even need to assemble as a group. Couples, two or three people walking together, can dress and carry signs that identify them as participants.  Call and response cheers can echo through a large area when scattered walkers participate in unison.

The authorities are left with little to object to. Everyone has the right to stroll through a public place, to carry a sign, and to greet and talk with those they meet, even cheer occasionally.  Participants don't have to risk being arrested to do a Walk-About.


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Richmond Shreve is a retired business executive whose careers began in electronics (USN) and broadcasting in the 1960s. Over the years he has maintained a hobby interest in amateur radio, and the audio-visual arts while working in sales and (more...)

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