We learn this week that the ostensibly progressive Mayor Taveras is seeking legal action to forcibly evict Occupy Providence protestors from Burnside Park “in next few days.” One has to wonder which constituency he’s serving in taking action (hmm, are their initials BOA?). For their part, the protestors have expressed their intent to continue to peaceably assemble and petition for a governmental redress of grievances. There is also a petition urging Taveras and Paré to let the protestors remain in the park.
To Mayor Angel Taveras and Commissioner Steven Paré,
We, the people of Occupy Providence, would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the continued respect shown to our just and legal gathering. We have found the welcome of the City of Providence to be warm and cordial, and the support of the people of Rhode Island to be firmly on the side of justice with regards to our grievances. We are both humbled and grateful to those whose outpouring of goodwill has been of benefit to our cause.
We assembled on the 15th of October, 2011 in order to redress our grievances and commit to one another in support of liberty and the free exercise of speech by all manners of people. Since then, the Occupy Providence movement has become a living symbol of how, through the commitment of members and officials alike, a peaceful assembly can gather non-violently to address complex and pressing issues of injustice.
We have recently learned that the city seeks to take legal action against our assembly in Burnside Park. We believe that our presence is a legitimate exercise of our Constitutional rights to free speech in protesting the abuses of authority and the failures of inaction that have marked our era. To this end, we respectfully restate our intention to remain in Burnside Park for however long it takes to build a society by, for and of the people.
With this understanding, we welcome a dialogue between city officials and our General Assembly about our continued presence in the park and ways in which we can facilitate the maintenance of a safe and clean public space for all.
Yours in service,
The Occupy Providence Movement
Mayor Taveras, as one of your progressive supporters let me ask, which side are you on?