The First Amendment allows American citizens the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble. This portion of the Bill of Rights has been the cornerstone of Occupy Wall Street, which started two months ago when swarms of concerned people took over Manhattanâ€™s Zuccotti Park to protest the drastic inequalities between the rich and poor.
The movement has since spread to similar occupations around the country and globe, resulting in civil unrest that some government officials are not too fond of. Despite the occupiers' right to assemble, law enforcement officials have begun unearthing rarely used legal loopholes to evict protesters. Most recently, Zuccotti Park was temporarily cleared out during a late night raid to clean up the grounds. Although protesters were allowed to return, they were unable to bring along tents and sleeping bags due to city ordinances. AlterNet compiled 12 of the most absurd laws used to stop the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Anslem Samuel, Senior Producer, has been a culture critic and entertainment journalist for over 10 years. After a four-year stint as Culture Editor at The Source, the New York native became the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Ave, an independent quarterly publication that combined entertainment, social issues and politics. From there, he served as the Senior Editor for XXL magazine for three years before moving up the ranks to Digital Content Director for XXLMag.com. Also heading up an award-winning relationship blog, he now brings his lifestyle expertise to BlackEnterprise.com