Is a Parked Corvette “Free Speech”?
It being an election year, one would only expect political tensions to rise. 2012 is different in many ways though, with clashing ideologies, questions about deficit reduction versus wealth inequality, and two massive protest movements that have sprung up seemingly overnight. Last fall, the Occupy Wall St. movement gained national attention for its round-the-clock occupation of Zuccotti Park in New York City among many other parks and monuments nationwide.
While most of these Occupy encampments have been evicted from the public property they took over, there are still a few holdouts, including in the city of Boise, Idaho. There, the empty tents drew the ire of a Corvette-driving Veteran who, along with a Republican district chairwoman, parked their cars next to the tents as a “counter-protest,” reports Corvetteblogger via KTBV.
The sight of a Geo Metro parked next to a Chevy Corvette in protest is not something you see every day. But Ronalee Linsenmenn thinks that if the empty Occupy tents are free speech, then her bumper sticker-covered Geo Metro is too. Joined by the Corvette on the lawn of the courthouse, it wasn’t long before the proper authorities arrived to help remove the couple of car protesters.
An Idaho judge had recently ruled that, while the Occupy protesters may not sleep, cook, or camp on the lawn where they had erected their tents, the tents would be allowed to stay as “protected speech.” The two car protesters countered that their vehicles were symbolic vessels of protest too, about getting a job and earning one’s own living.
And while we may not agree with the methods (nor with driving a Corvette over a curb), they do bring up a valid point; if a tent can be protected speech, why not a Corvette?
In a delicious, ironic twist though, the Occupy Protesters supported the right of Ronalee and the Corvette driver to park their cars as an anti-protest. Maybe these two groups have more in common than they realize?