Quinn Norton continues her excellent Wired coverage of the Occupy movement around America, reporting today from Boston, where a court has ruled that the tent-city at Dewey Park is a form of "protected symbolic expression." But in order to capitalize on this, Boston's Occupiers have to swear an oath to abide by the ultimate decision of the court, and to join as a plaintiff the ongoing lawsuit for the right to stay in the park.
But herein lies the rub for Occupy Boston – it’s not an official group, so can’t be listed on the lawsuit. Judge McIntyre instructed the Occupy to appoint official mediators, who have been working with the city through mediation since, and to have members of the group sign on to obey whatever final order she issues.
Those who sign, but don’t abide by the final order, risk a daily fine on top of any charge the city might bring if they move to evict.
Not all of Occupy Boston, which counts its population at 230-250 people, supports the suit.
At this Sunday’s General Assembly, which lasted for four hours, many expressed ambivalence and downright hostility to the idea. A few argued that having some people sign and some not would divide the moment. Others posited that engaging with the system would cost them in moral authority and public support.
(Photo: Quinn Norton/Wired)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.