Tag Archives: Zuccotti Park

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”.