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Eye On Boise

Occupiers: Not camping, a ‘vigil’

Occupy Boise released a statement this morning, saying it'll hold a march from the state Capitol to the federal courthouse this afternoon, with Boise Police officers as escorts. Click below to read their statement, which says the proposed anti-Occupy legislation “attempts to silence Idahoans who have held a vigil at the Old Ada County Courthouse since October,” saying, “The bill mischaracterizes the Occupy Boise movement protestors, asserting that they are 'camping,' when in fact they are holding a 'vigil.'”

Boise, Idaho—Idaho citizens will stand up for freedom of speech and assembly today in opposition to an Idaho House of Representatives bill seeking to end a three-month long occupation of the Capitol Mall. After the hearings, Occupy Boise members plan to march to the federal courthouse with Boise Police Department officers for escorts.

The bill, introduced in the Idaho House by Rep. Scott Bedke (R-Oakley), attempts to silence Idahoans who have held a vigil at the Old Ada County Courthouse since October. The bill mischaracterizes the Occupy Boise movement protestors, asserting that they are “camping,” when in fact they are holding a “vigil.”

Occupy Boise finds the bill to be an affront to the people’s constitutionally protected right to petition their government to address grievances, speak freely to elected representatives and assemble in peaceful protest.

The Idahoans, who are part of the Occupy Boise Movement, come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse ideas. However, they are united in their call for a government free of the corrupting influence of large corporations and special interests. They are united in their demand that the government work for the people, not against the people. They are united in their love of freedom, liberty and democracy.

Hearing time:  8:00 a.m.
Idaho House Representatives

March Time:  3:00 p.m.
Idaho Capitol steps to Federal Courthouse

The Idaho state legislature has crafted a special bill [H 380 – Rep. Scott Bedke, District 27] to specifically end the peaceful Occupy Boise vigil across the street from the State Capitol and block any future exercise of this particular form of freedom of speech from the Capitol mall area.  This action is, quite simply, an attack on the civil liberties of the Idaho people's constitutional right of assembly.  Our vigil is set up in a legal fashion that abides by all public health, welfare, and safety laws. This bill is simply an attempt by some legislators who don't want a visible demonstration across the street from the Capitol building.

Occupy Boise is part of a long tradition of Americans exercising their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom to peaceably assemble.  We are concerned with the actions of a government that is responsive to corporate demands and monied interests of the few at the expense of the majority of U.S. Citizens.

Occupy Boise seeks to build community with the 99%, many of whose voices are not being heard.  Keeping the stories, the worries and in many cases, the injustices in the lives of our fellow citizens in the news, in the public conversation, is a main reason for the existence of the Occupy movement in Idaho.  We urge other like-minded individuals to join us, share our message and contact your local representatives in support of this important work.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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