At what point does power restrict freedom? My area of research has to do with mental health care and the law. I look at what points people who are considered to have lost their grip on consensual reality have their rights and autonomy taken away by the state.
Here with an impending eviction of Harbourside Park we have a conceptually similar situation. A group of people who are perceived as not adhering to a normal way of living are going to be soon faced with a decision. Leave the park, ie normalize, or be confronted with the law and the restrictions that follow from that.
The decision to restrict freedom seems easier to make when a group has been categorized as other; different or abnormal in some way. I think there is something abnormal about what is happening with the Occupy movement. I also think we are at the point where it might be time to consider the virtues of abnormality.
I understand not wanting to participate in Occupy, or ignoring it altogether. We are free to choose. My question is, what is there about the movement to not support? Here as elsewhere, (and I have been to the encampments at Dewey Square in Boston and the womb at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan), I have seen a lot of things. I have seen people motivated to contribute their time and energy to provide food, shelter, and camaraderie in a virtually judgement free setting. I read from Joel Hynes' Straight Razor Days at the Zuccotti Park library. I was violently chased through Manhattan by the riot police for my efforts. Hynes does have a gift for antagonism.