Monday, December 05, 2011

Occupy Boston tramples on the rights of a true American hero

Hey, Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Good news!

We think we just might have come up with a solution for getting rid of all those Occupy Boston protestors on the Greenway. In fact, it's a way to be patriotic and kick them out at the same time.

The solution: Occupy Boston needs to pick up their tents and leave so the city can honor Admiral George Dewey.

Here's the background.

Occupy Boston's tent city is located in Dewey Square, a piece of land owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (formerly the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority) and subject to a lease for control by the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Inc.

Dewey Square, it so happens, was named in honor of George Dewey in 1898. Dewey was a highly-decorated officer in the U.S. Navy. In 1898, Dewey had gained fame for his military success commanding U.S. Naval forces in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines (commencing with his now-famous order, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley."). He was the only person ever to be named Admiral of the Navy for the United States by special act of Congress on March 24, 1903. He even served as a presidential candidate for a brief time back in 1900. (On the Democratic side, we might add.)

Who knew? We sure didn't until we looked it up online. But he sounds very interesting. And, we think that such an esteemed person deserves to have his life and professional achievements honored so that more can appreciate his history. Possibilities would be to commemorate the anniversary of his birth (December 26, 1837) or the date of his death (January 16, 1917). And, what better way than to sponsor a public ceremony in the very park named in his honor? In fact, Mayor Menino and his staff ought to head over to Boston Public Library right now to start researching how we could honor Admiral Dewey.

Of course, all of this would mean that Dewey Square would have to be free for such a purpose. Completely free. In other words, members of Occupy Boston would have to vacate Dewey Square and take all of their tents and kitchen sinks and other implements of insurgency with them so the square could be cleaned up and made ready. We would, of course, expect throngs of people who are not currently calling for the end to capitalism as we know it to turn out to honor Admiral Dewey, a great American.

After all, as the members of Occupy Boston say, it's all about the ability to exercise free speech, right? And, by asserting exclusive full-time possession and control over the Greenway, Occupy Boston is effectively squelching the right of everyone else to use, enjoy, and exercise their free speech rights in Dewey Square.

Exercises like holding a ceremony to honor the memory of a distinguished American, Admiral George Dewey, on December 26, the 174th anniversary of his birth.

Mark your calendars – it's just three weeks from today. By the way, anyone know where to go to pull a permit?