Skip to comments.Stopping Free Keene Activism in Central Square
Posted on 09/18/2010 1:11:49 PM PDT by citizenredstater9271
Over the last year activists associated with the Free Keene website have engaged in civil disobedience in Keenes Central Square. The City of Keene has made several efforts to stop this activism, using the only tool they have available, arrests. So far this tactic has utterly failed to stop any activism, at best displacing it to a different park. I would like to present an alternative method that the City of Keene can use that provides the greatest chance of ending the 420 celebrations, the nightcaps, the vigils, and all other activism in Central Square.
The first step to solving any problem is recognizing its cause. Why is it that activists have chosen Central Square for their civil disobedience? Certainly its location makes it great for attention, and the high traffic makes outreach easy, but that is not the only reason. The biggest reason Central Square is used for activism is the fact that it is public property, i.e. owned by everyone, even the activists. This ownership is the result of the City of Keene paying for the purchase and upkeep of the park with tax money, which is taken under threat from all residents of the area they claim jurisdiction over. The ownership is incomplete, however, as a resident of Keene, who does not use the park or wish to pay for its upkeep has no means to dispose of his ownership of what he views as a liability. The solution to this is simple, Central Square must be made private property.
Well, perhaps its not so simple as that, after all how does one fairly distribute the ownership of public property?
(Excerpt) Read more at freekeene.com ...
If we privatize public spaces, then the owners are not bound to recognize a lot of constitutional freedoms. How is this conducive to a free society? I thought you guys were standing up for those freedoms, but if you have nowhere to exercise them, what is the point?
There’s a better way. Put your skills to use gathering like-minded people to elect a government more conducive to your wishes. Then you don’t have to act out in city parks.
Just a thought...
How about you get a job, buy your own land, and then you can have all the private street theater you want so the public doesn’t have to put up with that cr*p. Problem solved.
If the property owners ruled w/ an iron fist then no one would use the square and they wouldn’t make any money, so its wouldnt be in their interest to treat the square’s visitors like dirt. But when the gov. owns something they can treat it however they want b/c people can’t escape from it.
Hey, Keene’s a college town... write it off as ambience. If it really pisses enough Keeneites (word?) off they can always go demonstrate against it in front of the college president’s house.
“How about you get a job, buy your own land, and then you can have all the private street theater you want so the public doesnt have to put up with that cr*p. Problem solved.”
Yeah, damned hippies! They should draft them all! Hell, they might even be.... LIBERTARIANS!!! :)
“If the property owners ruled w/ an iron fist then no one would use the square and they wouldnt make any money, so its wouldnt be in their interest to treat the squares visitors like dirt.”
So, if a private property owner doesn’t allow people to assemble and protest there without permission, then nobody would patronize the place? That’s a non-sequiter.
Observe, for example, the recent case of a county fair, on private property, where a man was arrested simply for holding an anti-Obama sign. Free speech was not allowed, and this was selectively enforced (people with t-shirts weren’t ejected or arrested). Many people witnessed the violent detainment by private security, and later arrest, and were visibly disgusted. However, most people at the fair kept patronizing and enjoying the facility.
Why? Because on private property, the public really has no expectation of unfettered liberties. So, there is not really any outrage when it’s restricted, even “with an iron fist”, as you say.
Open Carry, an issue I’m sure is important to you, provides other examples. There have been many cases where private businesses have banned open carry on their premises. Some boycotts have happened, but there are still businesses that keep the bans and aren’t going out of business because the general public is not outraged, and continue to patronize them.
What will the free staters do if they get the square privatized, and the owner(s) ban protests and open carry? Go and protest there anyways and get arrested some more? Or stand on the sidewalk across the street protesting against a condition they helped to create?
they said they’d give ownership of the square to a private company and then the townspeople will all hold stock in the company. Thats different then handing it to one person.