Occupy Evicted

16 Nov

Early yesterday morning, under cover of night and by excluding and/or arresting the press, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the New York City police to clear Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park, and sanitation to clean it.

I’ve always had my doubts about the First Amendment implications of Zuccotti being a privately owned park – to my mind, the protesters would be on a more solid legal footing if they were gathered on public property. In any event, to my mind, yesterday’s expulsion was violative of the Constitutional protections for political speech and assembly. The government kicked them out – not the private park owner.

That Bloomberg did it under cover of night and deliberately excluded the press makes this even more ominous – what were they hiding?

While most media coverage of the Occupy movement has been dismissive, or packed with unwanted advice, in my opinion the lumpendemocratic, unorganized (if not disorganized) nature of the protest is exactly right. As Matt Taibbi points out, Occupy isn’t for any one specific thing – it is demonstrating against the general wrong direction of a superficial, lost society; an economy that has been systematically transformed into a bastardization of free market capitalism. The 99% get the crumbs while 1% of Americans belong to a privileged brown-shoe mafia that enforces its advantage through buying off politicians.

Although Occupy had obtained a temporary restraining order blocking their eviction, a State Supreme Court judge upheld the eviction later in the day, stating that the park was for the benefit of all the public, and that Occupy posed a health and safety hazard.

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Occupy is allowed back in the park, but not with tents, tarps, or large bags or camping equipment.

The earlier TRO:

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The city’s response:

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In Buffalo, the Occupy movement has set up in Niagara Square as a 24-hour demonstration. It’s been invited to stay by city government, and finds support among the unionized police and fire departments. There’s no reason to evict what’s become a movement.

And to those who say that Occupy needs to immediately set up a list of demands and figure out what it’s all about, I can’t think of a more succinct, relevant, accurate, or reasonable slogan than “sh1t is all f*cked up and sh1t”.

38 Responses to “Occupy Evicted”

  1. LewZer November 16, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Kick all of these losers out (or lock them up) and send them to an employment agency. These demonstrations are pointless with no goal or objective. The protesters are long haired tattooed and pierced 20 somethings with nothing better to do in their rudderless lives. To call themselves the 99% percent does their “movement” harm as they are probably far closer to 1% of the population than the 99% they claim to represent. This all ACORN community organizing bullshit brought on by Obama and the sense of entitlement and socialism he preaches. Do these POS in Niagara Square and Zuccotti Park truly think anyone is paying attention other than a few people on twitter and bleeding heart marxists like Olbermann and Maddow.. I hope the police will get serious and go Tiananmen square on their ass!

  2. Bbill November 16, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Charles Pierce:

    Your right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, and how you may do it, and what you may say, will be defined by the police power of the state, backed by its political establishment and the business elite. They will define “acceptable” forms of public protest, even (and especially) public protest against them. This is the way it is now. This is the way it has been for some time. It’s just that people didn’t notice. And that was the problem with the Occupy protests. They resisted the marginalization — both literal physical marginalization, and the kind of intellectual marginalization that keeps real solutions to real problems out of our kabuki political debates. They could not be ignored. In 1831, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote of his own cause:
    ]I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.

    That was the real problem with the Occupy people. They were being heard.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/zuccotti-park-cleared-6561771

    The fact that thoughtful erudite folks like poster #1 are regurgitating the lies and ad homina from Fox “News” and Limbaugh (ACORN! lofl) indicates that indeed, they were being heard. The cretins are being played like banjos into opposing their own interests.

  3. Eric Saldanha November 16, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    @ LewZer – “long haired tattooed and pierced 20 somethings with nothing better to do in their rudderless lives”? Yeah, not so much.

    You distinguish yourself by hurling out “socialism” and “Marxist” as insults, followed immediately with a wish for American cops to adopt the practices of one of the most brutal suppressions of free speech and assembly ever witnessed. Kudos.

  4. MJC November 16, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    I can’t decide if #1 is serious or not. Seems too over the top to be a legit argument.

  5. Ismaeal November 16, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    yes “LewZer” there are jobs aplenty in this economy, how dare these protestors not apply for a job at the Local Steel Mi….whoops

  6. Fat Tony November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    #1 is more right than not. This isn’t some organic protest against excesses of capitalism. This is a bunch of spoiled brats with an entitlement mentality who will ditch their notions that everyone else should pay for their free ride once they are actually helping pay the bills. C’mon, have you listened to these folks? Their college grads who expected to walk out the door into six figure jobs who now realize they’ve got to work their way up and don’t want to. I feel bad for the handful of smart folks in these protests who actually have a real message about how bankers fucked up the country and got away with it. But when the other yahoos say everyone is entitled to this, that and everything else under the sky…yes, their Marxist rhetoric….I turn to back to Fox so I can join others in laughing at them.

    • Alan Bedenko November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      No, Tony, #1 is absolutely wrong. A quick glance at Krugman’s column today succinctly expresses what’s going on – the plutocracy is being attacked, and it’s panicking.

      What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

      Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

      This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.

      So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.

  7. Ward November 16, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Sign displayed at Occupy Buffalo:
    “From Oakland to Greece
    Fuck the Police”

    That would be a statement made by the FleaBaggers on behalf of the 99%, apparently.

    • Alan Bedenko November 16, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Ward, you should Google “Scott Olsen

  8. James November 16, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Don’t you work at a law firm that represents insurance carriers and corporations.  If so, wouldn’t that make you part of the 1%?

    • Alan Bedenko November 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      No, because I earn far less than the top 1% of earners. Also, to be accurate I don’t represent insurance companies.

      And even if I was, so what? The system is still rigged.

  9. WhoCares November 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    LewZer,
    Mommy says lunch is ready. Then its time for your nap.

  10. Bbill November 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Shorter Fat Tony: Occupiers have no credibility. Now excuse me while watch Fox News.

  11. Brian Wood November 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Asking for an end to economic injustice is so un-American. Any optimists about the Occupy movement need to google Ludlow Massacre or, perhaps, Blair Mountain. Things haven’t changed.

  12. Bbill November 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Shorter Fat Tony: Occupiers have no credibility. Now excuse me while I watch Fox News.

  13. Fat Tony November 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    BP, I don’t disagree with some points in Krugman’s column. By 99 percent of the so-called 99 percent crowd isn’t articulating that all. They want free college, free medical, free housing, jobs for everyone and no one should have to pay for any of it. These are the folks camping out, getting drunk and screwing around. No one has to take any responsibility for anything. No one should be blamed for their own stupidity in leveraging their home over and over and now it’s worthless. That’s the government’s problem.

  14. LewZer November 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    WhoCares -Sorry I cant sit here and monitor the comments of you sick twisted Commies but I am at work instead of being at a pointless protest sitting in my own feces like the lazy, Pathetic “Occupiers”.

  15. Alan Bedenko November 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    @Fat Tony, I think you’re making some wild generalizations here about “99%” of the protesters being for “getting drunk and screwing around.”

  16. Rob November 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    “[99% of OWS protestors] want free college, free medical, free housing, jobs for everyone and no one should have to pay for any of it.”

    Total bullshit. I thought Comment #1 was an over-the-top joke, but no, #6 shows that it wasn’t.

  17. MJC November 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Time and time again, the Republicans only believe what they want to believe. It is too frightening to believe that the economy is being destroyed by their own party and corporate America, so they choose to believe the easier “truth” that the Occupy protesters are lazy and entitled.

    Too frightening to believe that climate change is destroying the planet, so they believe that the entire thing is a myth cooked up by corporation-hating academics.

    Too frightening to believe that the economic system is slowly being rigged in favor of the richest 1%, so they instead choose to believe that the 99% are all somehow lazy.

    Keep getting your information from Fox News folks. No way would corporate America lie to you!

  18. Ward November 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Alan, I’m afraid I can’t Google the names of the rape victims in the Oakland, Cleveland, Zuccotti and Philly Obamavilles because they have not been made public.

  19. Leo Wilson November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    @MJC, we should meet, have a beer and discuss this whooe “only believe what they want to believe” theme… I think I might have a surprise or two for you about who bases their actions on faith-based falsehoods vs. actual results of actions. I can use your own memories to validate my own stance, too.

  20. Kevin J. November 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Wow, your inaccuracy and lack of facts is impressive, Fat Tony. But if the Occupy Wall Street, Buffalo, etc., movement hasn’t articulated much of anything, how could you come up with the canard of the 99 percenters seeking so much free stuff?

  21. jimd November 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    What I don’t understand is how the occupiers expect to make changes since both parties whore out to corporations. Unless there is a plan to primary out incumbents of both parties, in which case standing around in parks isn’t going to get it done. All that is happening is they get shit from the right and lip service from the left.

  22. Ward November 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Alan — not a lot of Tea Partiers raping their fellow members, as far as I see. However, the Fleabaggers have had to establish “rape-free zones” in the Obamavilles, so that the several female campers who don’t choose to be raped have a place to sleep.

    BTW–according to the Post, one of the determining factors in the decision to evict from Zucchini Park was the pervasive violation of NYC’s ban on outdoor smoking.

  23. Ray Walter November 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    What’s interesting to me Alan, is that the quote you pulled from the Krugman article (or Taibbi’s) could just have easily been referring to the Tea Party movement.  I think everyone is pissed off about the same thing but how it get’s fixed is where the disagreements begin.  Our “free-market” system is broken.  Do we fix it with more freedom or more government – that’s the Trillion $$ question.  

    • Alan Bedenko November 17, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Ray – The trillion dollar question is how do we get away from oversimplifying the choices we face as being between robber baron capitalism vs. Rosa Luxemburg socialism.

  24. Mike In WNY November 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Ray, the Trillion $$ answer is obviously more freedom. The greatest economic growth in our country occurred when corporations didn’t collude with government to prop up the losers. At the rate we are going, we will be supporting the crappy pizzerias because they can’t sell their fair share of pizza and would be out of business.

  25. Greg November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    The greatest economic growth in our country occurred when corporations didn’t collude with government to prop up the losers.

    Go on… (when was this? Genuinely interested.)

  26. Rob November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Right and no other macroeconomic factors were at play either coughtheindustrialrevolutioncough.

  27. Hank November 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Did Occupy Wall Street get permits before they descended on Zucotti Park? Did they arrange for security? Did they arrange for toilet facilities for the protestors? The Tea Party did all that for a ONE DAY demonstration in DC. There was no violence, no trash left behind—certainly not dozens of hypodermic needles, no rapes, no fires, nobody defecating in public on the ground, no confrontations with law enforcement. There certainly was no uproar when orders of the President, General Douglas MacArthur sent Major Dwight Eisenhower and the Regular Army to break up the Hooverville of the Bonus Army—-All veterans who risked their lives for liberal Woodrow Wilson’s desire for a League of Nations. They just wanted the bonuses that the goverment owed them.

    Ever wonder if the minimum wage was 18.00, what you’d pay for a cheeseburger at Mc Donald’s? When you’ve never been cold, never been hungry, never worked your ass off all day for peanuts just to try and keep a roof over your head, one can be FULL of utopian bullshit. Wall Street isn’t afraid of these assholes—it’s just swatting away a pesky fly.

  28. Bbill November 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Hank, OWS is advocating for your interests, along with the rest of the middle class. Rush is lying to you, manipulating your resentment to make you to oppose your interests. It’s really that simple.

  29. Allen Miller November 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    All the baloney aside I still agree with the message (although it sometimes is not clear) that a concentration of wealth or power (which I as a Tea Partier protested) is not good for the country. I think that much of the original movement has been hijacked by Anarchists and crazies (look at the idiot that took a shot at the white house).

    My gripe has always been the methods. Occupation is not protest and specifically when you block businesses of the so called 99%. I am sorry but a movement that is leaderless will soon fall into chaos. Contradictory to what most people think e are not a democracy. We are a representative republic. On wall street we saw what a real democracy is, and many disliked it.

    One other point I have is that some may think they are being disadvantaged but in this country we still have plenty. There was an interesting an LTE in BuffaloNews.com this weekend made that point quite well. I am sure many Buffalonians read it.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial-page/from-our-readers/another-voice/article629813.ece

    Antony Davies is an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University

  30. Allen Miller November 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    @24 Alan Bedenko

    Ward is referring to crimes committed by Tea Party protestors not right wing nut jobs. The fact of the matter is that there are many anarchists and criminals that have joined the movement and taken the opportunity to commit crimes.

    By that logic I could equate Ted Kazinsky, Bill Ayers and a host of other left wing nut jobs to the Occupy movement just because they are liberal. Oh wait Bill Ayers is part of the Occupy movement.

  31. Allen Miller November 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    @33 Bbill

    >>Hank, OWS is advocating for your interests, along with the rest of the middle class.

    You keep saying that, but OWS is about the middle class, but so far the only group they have hurt is the middle class. I personally saw the back door most 1%ers are leaving the exchange from. It is highly guarded and protected. They have their cars pick them up and take the to their homes on the upper east side and in Greenwich CT. The ones getting hosed are the small businesses like restaurants and shoe shine shops having to deal with loss of business at the front door. I would love to see OWS try camping out on the upper east side. Plenty of space in central park right next to fifth avenue and between that and park from 59th street up. Bloomberg lives in that neighborhood along with the other .0001% ers.

  32. Bbill November 18, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    a concentration of wealth or power (which I as a Tea Partier protested) is not good for the country.

    Actually the Kochs, Dick Armey et al created the teabaggers in order to help enable concentration of wealth and power. That is precisely their purpose.

    This may be helpful also too: http://www.salon.com/2011/11/16/i_watched_two_days_of_fox_news_coverage_of_ows/singleton/

  33. Allen Miller November 18, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Bbill

    Like so many in the OWS movement you resort to insults like teabaggers when you are wrong.

    I will say this for the hundredth time, Dick Armey, the Kochs et al attached themselves to the tea party, just like labor unions and George Soros with his proxies and anarchists are now doing to Occupy.

    I watch Fox news and I also saw the Tea party gauntlet that the congressional black caucus walked through when supposed racial threats and spitting occurred. I also saw on Fox news an Arizona tea party that had people show up with LEGAL firearms. So Fox news covered the warts of the Tea Party as well. Are you denying that these violent incidents are occurring with OWS? Mayor Bloomberg and the very Liberal Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland says the violence is great and that I saw on MSNBC.

    I remember in the local Tea Party protests / organizing we had people calling for radical Ideas. (Never saw Dick Armey or David Koch there) They were rejected in favor of the electoral process of change. We organized with leadership and defeated a shocked Democrat Dan Maffei. His replacement Ann Marie Buerkle has been true to the principals she ran on. Next year we will reorganize (maybe next week if we see new taxes from the select committee) Then we will peacefully run an organized election campaign. If we lose so be it, we will accept Dan Maffei (yes he wants to give it another shot) and continue working at it. This I can guarantee you we will not be starting fires in the streets like in Oakland, we will not be camping out in public parks and blocking businesses of the 99%. We will move on trying to make our lives and the lives of people around us better in this great nation.

    One more thing 100% of the tea party people I know are in the 99% vast majority are in the middle class we have some poor and some wealthy we do not discriminate. So occupy must be looking out for us right?

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