Finally, after nearly two months during which the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement became an incubator of disease, rape and other assaults, thefts and drug peddling, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took action. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning November 15th, the New York Police Department took back Zuccotti Park from the occupiers, issuing a notice to them to clear out in order to allow a long overdue cleaning to take place.
“You are required to immediately remove all property, including tents, sleeping bags and tarps from Zuccotti Park. That means you must remove the property now,” read the police notice. “You will be allowed to return to the park in several hours, when this work is complete. If you decide to return, you will not be permitted to bring your tents, sleeping bags, tarps and similar materials with you.”
Shortly thereafter, the police moved in. Most of the protesters appeared to comply with the police order. Those who resisted were arrested. According to the Associated Press, there were at least seventy arrests.
But the saga was just beginning to unfold. Protesters pretending that they really had an important cause akin to the civil rights movement sang “We Shall Overcome” while others, pretending they were as brave and serious-minded as the Egyptian dissidents revolting against that country’s brutal dictatorship, banged their drums and yelled: “New York, Cairo, Wisconsin, push us down we’ll rise again!”
Meanwhile, in order to vindicate their imaginary “First Amendment” rights to construct tents on other people’s property as well as bang drums, defecate, urinate, and do drugs along with their speechifying, the protesters’ lawyers went to court. At around 6:30 AM on November 15th, attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the far-left National Lawyers Guild working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group (LPLWG) managed to find a sympathetic Manhattan Supreme Court judge who issued a temporary restraining order against the City of New York, various city agencies, and Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings. The defendants were prohibited from “evicting protesters from Zuccotti Park” and from “enforcing the ‘rules’ published after the occupation began or otherwise preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized.”
How does one explain the lunacy of an order that prohibits the owner of private property dedicated to public use from issuing reasonable rules addressing health and safety concerns and barring squatting in tents that effectively block other members of the public who don’t agree with the occupiers from exercising their right to use the park? The judge who signed the temporary restraining order, Lucy Billings, spent 25 years as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union before becoming a judge in 1997.
The petitioning lawyers included Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and former president of the National Lawyers Guild; Margaret Ratner Kunstler, former education director at the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Bina Ahmad, a former intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights and currently the legal program assistant to Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights and legal consultant to the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Occupied Palestinian Territories office.
Pages: 1 2