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Editorials | Occupy Boston

Don’t make it a turf battle

November 19, 2011

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A long, drawn-out legal fight over how long people can stay in a public park would be, at best, a distraction from the serious economic issues that Occupy Boston is working to highlight . Now two months old, the encampment in Dewey Square isn’t hurting anyone, and has created relatively little disruption. The city, which seems to recognize the free-speech implications, has widely given the protesters a lot of latitude. Yet it’s unlikely this detente can hold forever. As a legal matter, nobody has a unqualified right to camp indefinitely in a public park. The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, which manages the Dewey Square parcel the protesters are using , is seeking to force the city’s hand, alleging drug use in the camp and worsening sanitary conditions, and maintaining that a community event had to be cancelled because of the protests.

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