4 arrests at Occupy Little Rock, too bad they aren’t a corporation
Police arrested four members of Occupy Little Rock on Wednesday as the city evicted the group from a downtown parking lot following a seven-month protest, according to the Courier News.
The group had been staying in a parking lot next to the main post office. They had a permit, but the permit had just expired. The permit was not extended because the city says it needs the space for bus parking for the Arkansas Riverfest over Memorial Day weekend, as well as other summer activities.
4 Occupiers felt that this constituted a violation of their right to protest, and so voluntarily remained on the property to be arrested. Officers made the arrests peacefully, after giving them time to clear out any property that they needed.
According to the Courier News, the group initially set up in October at the Clinton Presidential Center but moved as a compromise after Police Chief Stuart Thomas obtained a permit for the group to stay in the parking lot next to the main post office and across the street from the city’s tourist information center.
About 30 officers were on hand for the arrests and were involved in cleanup of the site. Officers donned white hazmat suits to begin the work. Five tents remained amid stacks of wood pallets, carpet remnants and refuse.
As the four were being arrested on failure to disperse complaints, protesters outside the police line chanted their support, and some also yelled at police.
The group hasn’t given up on finding a new protest site, but Occupier Greg Deckelman said all its efforts have been shot down by the city.
The Courier News notes that Occupy Little Rock as a group does not have standing to sue because they are not incorporated (although they can bring individual actions).
One of the issues often harped upon in Occupy protests is the issue of “corporations not being people”. But they apparently fail to understand why corporations are termed “people” for legal purposes, it is to give them the ability and right to sue-for exactly reasons such as this. If a company, business or group is aggrieved as a group, they thus would have a recourse.
Further, most corporations are small businesses or groups, not big entities or chains. To disallow corporations the right to sue because of some misperception of the “big evil corporation” would disrupt law that has been settled for eons and deny groups like Occupy Little Rock their right to pursue their grievances.