With an increasing number of stories about rapes and other sexual assaults at the Occupy encampments, more and more conservatives are saying that it’s time for the mayors of any given city to shut the Occupiers down. Example:
It’s time for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pull the plug on the dangerous circus in crime zone Zuccotti Park.
People have the right to protest, to assemble peaceably, to raise their voices and petition their government. They do not have the right to break the law. And Mayor Bloomberg has the duty to uphold the law.
I disagree. Certainly, the respective mayors should have their police do what police are supposed to do, which is to arrest malfeasors. (For an entirely different take on police responsibilities, versus those of other City employees, you have to check out the latest about Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. If I had to read the crystal ball, I’d guess that, absent some serious ballot box corruption, Quan won’t be getting reelected any time soon.)
The rising number of sex crimes, however, is no reason to shut down the protests. Why? Because protesters who don’t like the neighborhood can leave. The only thing keeping them there is their own desire. They moved into town, any town, a month ago (more or less) and they can move out again. If they want to live in a violent, crime-ridden slum, let them. They are not a forcibly trapped population. If they were, common humanity might demand that we act for their own good. These are volunteer victims. Leave ’em alone. I like it that, smack dab in the middle of America’s most liberal cities, residents get to see a living, breathing reminder of Leftist society in action.