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SOUND OFF: Who Should Be Allowed to Use the Boston Common?

City park officials had barred Emerson College's quidditch club from using space on the Common for games and practices.

If it's a public space, shouldn't that mean anyone can use it?

Boston Common officials banned Emerson College's quidditch team last week from practicing or playing games on the common, putting the team's season on the line and leaving them looking for a last-minute set of fields in the city, according to the Boston Globe

Quidditch, the sport inspired by the one played in the Harry Potter novels, is a seven-on-seven game where players run holding brooms, trying to shoot a deflated volleyball through upright hoops. It's now played at more than 300 schools across the country. 

Although the school has since been able to obtain a permit, the controversy remains over whether or not anyone should be able to use the fields without being stonewalled by the city. 

What do you think? Was the city being heavy-handed in not allowing the team to practice on the common? Should anyone be allowed to use the Boston Common space?

justmaybe September 14, 2012 at 09:49 AM
Are not all "teams" required to first obtain a permit? How much damage does this Emerson "team" do to the publicly owned and mantained space with tax payer funds? ?
Just Say No to the Fleecing of AmeriKa September 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Welcome to the Police-State of AmeriKa. The Boston Common is a PUBLIC C O M M O N, once used in Colonial times as pasture land, and it should be that, public. For the use and enjoyment of the public. Again you have government requiring a permit and permission to make use of PUBLIC SPACE. Why: so they can regulate human activity. Why: so they can exact Fees, Fines, Taxes money for use, and issue violations, fines,and notice to all who might otherwise freely use land that should be a public right of use. The aim is to generate income, not preserve the space, not insure public safety, but to control public gathering and make money on land that is supported via the tax paying residents of the City of Boston. In this way its use is already paid for, by the TAX PAYERS! There is no such thing as public land. It all falls under the category of local, state and federal land which your government can restrict you from using, deem your use trespassing so that you may be criminalized, fined, feed, arrested, and possibley jailed. Welcome to the Government State funded prison industrial complex!
Susana September 14, 2012 at 02:46 PM
WRONG!!!! http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/09/12/emerson-quidditch-club-soar-once-more/gX10I6HudkFG4BqOLO7OvI/story.html
Sara Jacobi September 14, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Hi Susana, although this particular instance has been resolved, I think the controversy still remains. I am sure there are tons of groups who are denied access to using the common (and this one was resolved quickly because it became an issue in the spotlight).
Jack September 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM
All groups should get a permit to use a public space -- unless you are a bunch of jobless, homeless, liberal hippies who want to destroy green space for a few months out of the year, then pack up and leave.
John D September 14, 2012 at 06:15 PM
this is WRONG. it's a public space. are they worried about disturbing the drug dealers and other assorted miscreants that ruin the park for everyone.
Seamus O'Sullivan September 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
if you play quidditch you should be banned from living, let alone using the boston common. bunch of fruitcakes.
Maura September 14, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Just because space is public doesn't mean anyone can use it for any purpose anytime. What if 12 other teams wanted to play at the same time? Just get a permit, it's no big deal. Teams of all sorts have been doing it forever.
Sara Jacobi September 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Hey now, be nice...
Sick of Fees for Living September 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Scheduling is one thing, permitting is another. Why does the Government have to be involved. It is public land, it's upkeep funded by the tax payers. A community service group or volunteer or even and electronic scheduling board could suffice to maintain a public schedule to avoid use conflicts. The government does not need to be involved to grant permission or afford access or monitor of exact fees for use of public land. Get Government out of every aspect of our lives!
ctown11 September 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM
hahahahaha touche

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