One thing you must respect about Occupy Wallstreet (OWS) groups all across the country is that they don’t ask for permission. They just protest. No permits. No nothing!

As a Tea Partier it has bothered me that we should jump through so many government mandated hoops to hold a protest. Should we allow them to place absurd conditions upon us with the potential and real possibility that we might not hold our protests? I know of at least 2 instances where we’ve canceled the idea of doing something because it was too expensive. At one event in Lynchburg we were required to pay more than $800 to hold an event. We had to pay for 2 portable toilets and hire off duty police (as if that was needed being that 1/3rd of our group was armed).

As of this writing the City of Richmond hasn’t charged the occupy protestors a dime. They didn’t ask permission to utilize their rights. Contrast that to the Richmond Tea Party who was charged over $10,000 for the privilege to protest.

Is something a right if you need permission to use it? It’s always irked me that we comply and get permits to hold a rally or protest. Notice that for the most part OWS gets a pass for over a week? It isn’t till the protestors make such a mess they become a health hazard or till crime and rape becomes a problem that they shut them down. Why? Cause the police and government KNOW that the 1st amendment gives them the right to peaceably assemble.

Those that might disagree with this would say:
Does a protestor have the right to block a road,bridge, or impeded my travel? The answer to that is no. That person would be infringing on your Liberty. That’s not what I’m saying or advocating. But government, be it local,state, or federal has no right to dictate IF you can protest or the terms that will make it possible to protest (toilets,cops,etc). At some point a case could be made that a 2 week siege on a public park or damage from such a protracted protest to the park is infringing on my liberty to use that park. But all this gets into a broader topic of Liberty and it’s beyond the scope of this article.

When it comes to OWS there isn’t much I agree with them on. They are protesting what they think is capitalism. Try to educate them through their drunken, drug or public education induced stupor that they are wrong and you’d have better luck trying to have a conversation with a brick wall. However, we can agree that Crony Capitalism is bad. That bailouts are bad. That the FED (Federal Reserve) is a detriment to our economy. But they would rather we institute communist policies to counter these problems. I and others would institute free market policies to counter them.

But on this we can agree; you don’t need a permit to use a right given to you by God. Lets hope we remember this next time.

Kurt Feigel
Lynchburg Tea Party