This is WRONG

Via NPR's The Two-Way

Saying that "the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protestors and to the surrounding community," [BULLSHIT!] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the clearing of Zuccotti Park early today.

The privately owned park has been the nerve center of the Occupy movement — a loosely organized collection of people who are angry about the wide wealth, income and power gaps between America's richest 1 percent and everyone else. Over recent months, Occupy has spread to other cities across the nation and to some foreign capitals. The move by New York officials follows similar actions in other cities, including Portland, Ore., and Oakland over the weekend.

Starting around 1 a.m. ET, police cleared the area in lower Manhattan so that sanitation crews could begin a clean up of the site, where for about two months Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camped and which had become filled with tents, tarps and sleeping bags. The NY1 news channel says an estimated 200 protesters were in the park at the time. There have been at least 70 arrests so far, but many protesters appeared to leave peacefully. (Update at 8:40 a.m. ET: Bloomberg just told reporters that about 200 arrests were made.)

According to The New York Times, before entering the area hundreds of police officers in riot gear "ringed the park and set up bright klieg lights, and protesters emerged bewildered out of their tents." An ultimatum was issued: Leave or face arrest. "Some protesters grabbed valuables and slipped away," the Times says. "But others — about 100 — resisted. They contracted into their own tight ring in the center of the park and locked elbows. Some even scrounged for thick bicycle locks and chained themselves together."

As police officers moved through the park, they cut tents and tarps down. Sanitation trucks took much of the material away. Protesters were told where they could go to retrieve any belongings left behind.

And, according to Bloomberg's statement, protesters were also told they can return to the site — but that they won't be allowed to set up a camp again.

"No right is absolute and with every right comes responsibilities," the [fascist] mayor's statement reads. "The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out – but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others – nor does it permit anyone in our society to live outside the law. There is no ambiguity in the law here – the First Amendment protects speech – it does not protect the use of tents and sleeping bags to take over a public space."

But, Bloomberg added, the park was becoming "a health and fire safety hazard to the protestors and to the surrounding community. ... [And] I could not wait for someone in the park to get killed or to injure another first responder before acting."

Before this morning's move to clear the park, protesters had been planning a Thursday push to "shut down Wall Street," as New York's Daily News reports.

"It's still on. It'll be bigger than ever. People are mobilizing now. They're wounded now and preparing for comeback," protester Matt Baldwin told the Daily News.

At one Occupy Wall Street website, there's the vow that "we will reoccupy!" And there's a call for a 9 a.m. ET rally at Canal and 6th Avenue in Manhattan.

Freelance journalist Julie Walker, who was at the scene reporting for NPR, was swept up with some of those who were arrested. She just told our Newscast desk that it appears some of the protesters are already gathering for that rally.

There are some updates if you click over.


thegayte-keeper said…
Heard the judge say they can go back with their tents.
Mauro Paim said…
Change is afoot, J.P.

In my humble opinion, they do not need to be at the park to be effective.

Will power and social networking will do the rest. Hopefully...
Writer said…
gayte-keeper, I'd read that they could go back but WITHOUT their tents. :(
Writer said…
Mauro, I'm just afraid that the powers that be (Wall St., the banks, the corporations) are finally putting the kabash on the Occupy Movement. :(
JamTheCat said…
The judge said they could do it, but Bloomberg and the cops ignored her and got ANOTHER judge to say they couldn't.

Thursday will be interesting.

As for NPR and PRI and their faux even-handedness, I've given up on them. I stream KCRW's music programs and that's the closest I get to NPR, anymore.
thegayte-keeper said…
Yeah seeing that now...SUCKS!
tamayn said…
I hope this becomes a rallying cry. I'm sure it's been said before, but when a multimillionaire mayor decides how people are allowed to protest, this becomes a problem.

Truthfully, police brutality and already wealthy politicians making decisions should be the major sticking point for the occupy movement. Do you happen to know where they are on the occupy march?
Anonymous said…
I would get into this, but my views are not the popular one. These people are not peaceful for the most part. They are a bunch of Hippies trying to right a wrong. You know what, they are all a lot better off than women in abuse shelters or Homeless people who have no choice. What they should do is work with people who have even less than they do and are never heard of. Rise above what is being done to you and help the less fortunate. I know a lot of NYPD Officers and not all of them but a majority of them are there just to be there and have the media film them. They have no point or even know what they are there for. I hop I have not offended anyone, but there are two sides to every story.
Writer said…
Kyle, a coworker of mine says the same about NPR...that they've swerved to the right. I guess I'm not that familiar with it. Except for the few things I post here, I keep to the books section. :)
Writer said…
tamayn, do you mean the Occupiers who marched from New York to DC? I think they just got there today.
Writer said…
Yes, Gaspatcho, there are two sides to every story. And you haven't offended me but I'm not exactly sure which side of which story you're trying to tell. ;)

Popular Posts