I’m intrigued by the fact that the Occupy Wall St. protestors are occupying a private park, rather than a public one. It means they are there at the forbearance of the park’s owner, and their protest is not solely a First Amendment issue. It also points out that the 1% are not solely selfish capitalists who do nothing socially beneficial with their wealth–an open-to-the-public park is a quintessential public good, undersupplied by the market. But not, as we can see, wholly unsupplied.
It’s uncertain what was really behind the park owner’s initial demand that the protestors be removed so the park could be cleaned, but I love the way that has worked out so far, with the protestors showing their willingness to clean it themselves (here’s a good story on that) and the owner’s acceptance (at least for the moment) of that. That’s a win-win situation.
I don’t have any sympathy with those protestors who think their protest rights trump the park owner’s property rights, but I also wouldn’t have much respect for the park owner if they didn’t show the protestors a fair amount of forbearance. So far, except for New York’s terrible police force, it’s all working out as it should in a country that wants to think it’s civilized.