New York Judge Upholds Eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park

The fate of Zuccotti Park, which has for the last two months been the semi-permanent home of Occupy Wall Street, was decided late this afternoon by a New York judge: The Occupiers, who were evicted late last night by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's personal army the NYPD, may not set up tents or sleep lying down in the park

The camp's fate appeared to be decided early this morning when attorneys for the Occupy movement called Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings and asked her to stop the eviction. Billings issued a restraining order that said the NYPD couldn't kick the Occupiers out of Zuccotti for exercising their First Amendment rights, but the New York Daily News reports that court administrators took the case away from Billings, who worked for the ACLU before joining the bench, this afternoon. (The story suggests that Billings' chumminess with Occupy attorneys got her booted from the case).

How the ruling will affect the Occupy movement is anybody's guess. Two obvious ones: Occupy Wall Street will go the way of Dylan Thomas's dear old dad, or it will live to fight another day. Dan Foster's 140-character take on the eviction is that Bloomberg just effectively martyred Occupy's puppeteers, unemployed college grads, and other long-hair types. That's probably right, but it's also probably right that a lot of Manhattanites are looking forward to seeing the hamster wheel working again. Regardless of what happens to the movement, Bloomberg's defense of the raid, which saw two-dozen or so journalists and almost 200 protesters packed into paddy wagons, and their camp destroyed, is probably the best thing to come out of today's events: 

“The police department routinely keeps members of the press off to the side when they’re in the middle of a police action. It’s to prevent the situation from getting worse and it’s to protect the members of the press.”

Everything Bloomberg does to you is for your own good, even jail! Radical chic rectal thermometer and New York Times' editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal had this to say

The mayor seemed sincere in saying that he chose to clear the park in the middle of the night because that was the least disruptive time. And he said the city would meet its legal obligation to provide shelter for anyone who needs it. That’s not likely to be near Wall Street, but he’s not obliged to take location into account.

None of us were terribly impressed with the argument that in clearing the park, the city was simply trying to protect the rights of other people to go and protest there about other things. That had the hollow sound of post-facto spin.

But what is most important is what comes next – for the city and for the protesters.

Mayor Bloomberg has set a high bar for himself. He said that protesters may stay in the park 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They just won’t be permitted to bring in tents or sleeping bags or set up camps. Fair enough.

Mr. Bloomberg also said they will not be allowed to lie down. If they do, the police will ask them to leave. Those who refuse will be carried out of the park. “Gently,” he said, “unless they take a swing at a cop, in which case they will be arrested.”

The Occupy Wall Street movement has to decide how to respond. The protesters can, of course, defy the city and get arrested. That’s always been the risk – sometimes even the goal – of civil disobedience. We expect the mayor and the police to handle that with restraint.

On the other hand, this might become a turning point for the movement. Will the protestors rally around certain political candidates? Or start backing specific policy measures? I’ll be watching with renewed fascination.

More Reason on Occupy Wall Street

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  • Suki||

    I thought these brats were #Occupying private property. Why does Reason object to getting trespassers off of private property using the police power of the government?

  • Esteban||

    Well, this is the city saying they can't stay in this privately owned/open to the public park, not the owner of the land.

  • Suki||

    It was the city that refused to eject the trespassers, without calling them trespassers, to begin with.

  • Esteban||

    But has the owner of the park demanded they leave or called them trespassers?

    Being the devil's advocate BTW.

  • Suki||

    At least since October, IIRC.

  • Esteban||

    I'm not sure about that:

    from Wikipedia:

    On October 13, New York City's mayor Bloomberg and Brookfield announced that the park must be vacated for cleaning the following morning at 7 am.[83] However, protestors vowed to "defend the occupation" after police said they wouldn’t allow them to return with sleeping bags and other gear following the cleaning, under rules set by the private park’s owner—and many protestors spent the night sweeping and mopping the park.[84][85] The next morning, the property owner postponed its cleaning effort .[84] Having prepared for a confrontation with police to prevent the cleaning effort from proceeding, some protestors clashed with police in riot gear outside city hall even after it was canceled.[83]
  • Suki||

    No mention of calls to the police that were responded to with "no"?

  • jtuf||

    Esteban, the park owner wanted to clean the park. The protesters said they would confront the police if the police tried to move them. The park owner backed down. That sounds like trespassing to me. If 50 people showed up to your house, and said they would fight the police if you called them, it's difficult to argue that you're letting them stay as guests.

  • AlmightyJB||

    My understaning was that the owner wanted them gone but had an agreement with the city concerning use of the park that precluded him taking legal action to remove them. I'm not 100% on that though.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Oh, what Fluffy says below.

  • ||

  • Esteban||

    Right, but then they postponed the cleaning efforts, apparently indefinitely

  • ||

    Brookfiled was asking for their removal before then. Basically the NYPD told them to "go right ahead."

    http://gothamist.com/2011/10/06/zuccotti_park.php

  • Suki||

    They should have called the Pinkertons!

  • Don Mynack||

    Are Pinkerton men no longer available? If so, have them show up with the bowler hats and jackets on, the whole nine yards, just to give it a real "Pete Seeger song" feel.

    Then forcibly remove them.

  • pmains||

    They've been bought up, but technically Pinkerton is still in business.

  • ||

    Pinkertons once came to my shop to pass out pink slips and make sure there were no incidents.

  • ||

    Surely no property owner would want people crapping and dropping dirty needles all over his land.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Why does Reason object to getting trespassers off of private property

    Strange crop o' "libertarians" we're raising this year, ain't it, Clem...?

  • Suki||

    With the new evidence from fluffy, why has Reason become the defender of corrupt zoning practices?

  • Art Vandelay||

    The legal owners of Zuccotti Park enjoy freedom of ownership -- a baseline and inarguable first principle of libertarianism. The park belongs to them, and they can regulate it however and in whatever manner they personally see fit, within the stated limits of the predefined contractual obligations made to the city of New York.

    Period, end of sentence, end of paragraph.

  • Suki||

    You must be new here. I said corrupt zoning practices (after Fluffy did).

  • Art Vandelay||

    1.) No; and --
    2.) Previous posting stands.

  • Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy||

    I'm torn.

    OTOH, the city possessed no legitimate power to require a property owner to create a public park as a condition of using the rest of their property.

    OTOH, the reason the city is able to get away with doing that is because property owners cave. These guys decided that caving was preferable to fighting, and they don't get to undo that decision now. They lost. It's not really their property any more.

  • Park Nazi||

    NO TENTS FOR YOU!!!

    Don't come back, one year!

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'd agree with that, and it's what separated OWS from the various other "Occupy" encampments around the nation. If the owner wants them gone, however...

    The only caveat is if and when the property becomes a nuisance to public and private property around it. I think OWS pretty much qualifies in this regard, for eviction.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The original constructors of the plaza were forced by the city (through open space type zoning) to construct the plaza in the first place, and forced to agree to the terms of a contract imposed by the city. The terms of the contract morally should be considered to have no legal authority.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But if the owners of Zuccotti Park own a building, and want to allow people to smoke tobacco products in that building...

  • Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy||

    Apparently it has been established that the city previously used its corrupt zoning process to extort the property owners into conceding indefinite 24/7 public use of this space.

  • Suki||

    Is that sort of like that DC snow-on-the-sidewalk ordinance? DC owns it, unless there is snow/ice on it, then the house it is in front of owns it if anybody slips?

  • ||

    Yeah, I heard this per Judge Nap on Fox Business earlier. He claims it's the only park in the city legally open past 1am. So I suppose, if they can work in shifts, they can still "occupy" 'round the clock.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    What, you mean there really isn't a genuine, actual constitutional "right" to camp out indefinitely on privately-owned park land, after all?

    Well. Color me gobsmacked, then!

  • sevo||

    "What, you mean there really isn't a genuine, actual constitutional "right" to camp out indefinitely on privately-owned park land, after all?"
    Yes, there is. The Constitution limits what the government can do; it does not 'grant' rights.
    So, right there next to the right to eat a hot dog at the ball park is the "constitutional" right to sleep anywhere you please.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    So, right there next to the right to eat a hot dog at the ball park is the "constitutional" right to sleep anywhere you please.

    Fine. Tomorrow night, then, I'll be exercising my constitutional right to sleep inside your teenage daughter.

  • Esteban||

    Is freedom of assembly and speech absolute? Are public park closures legal?

  • Suki||

    That is a great topic for a public park thread.

  • Esteban||

    Well, true, although I think these Occupy whatever sleepovers have been at public parks except for NY

  • Suki||

    Invite them over to your place.

  • Esteban||

    I think I'll pass. One visit there was enough to know that it was just a bunch of socialists and useful idiots.

  • Movie Perv||

    Yes. I like me some cute hippie chicks.

  • ||

    Are public park closures legal?

    Of course they are. Just like public courthouse closures are legal.

  • ||

    Now they can return to their loft apartments and work, day and night, to cleanse the Democratic party of its corporatist leaders.

    Then they can craft it into the Khemer Rougian party they dream of.

  • Suki||

  • ||

    I actually don't have a problem with this, in theory, but not condoning the execution.

    I really don't give a shit about the supposed public/private park nonsense, but you can mount a 24-hour/day protest without camping out at the site.

    Sleep somewhere else and mount a round-the-clock presence in shifts. You accomplish the same thing. The bonus is that you remove any pretense that the gummint could raise for prohibiting the protest, such as sanitation.

  • Suki||

    [OccupySpeak] That is not cool, maaaaan. Unless we can stop, like, the maaaaan from getting to work for, you know, like, the maaaan then we are not, like, serious, maaaan. [/OccupySpeak]

  • Colin||

    Well said.

    Unfortunately, confrontation is what they wanted all along. As Lenin once said, Revolutions can't be fought were white dinner gloves. (that might not be an exact quote)

  • ||

    Try getting a hotel/apt nearby? You'll be bankrupt w/in a week. Essentially then you're not protesting anymore, you're just homeless. I guess shelters will be full up soon.

  • jtuf||

    And how is this a new problem? The Occupy Wall Street protesters I talked to oppose home construction in the suburbs because they don't want anything built on open space. Then they demand the right to replace a park with homes for themselves.

    Bloomberg tried a new policy of blocking single adults from using city homeless shelters ( http://online.wsj.com/article/.....lenews_wsj ). Fortunately, a judge blocked the policy. OWS didn't object to Bloomberg's policy of keeping homeless people out of shelters. There response to being evicted from the park is a planned day of rage on Thursday.

  • Brandt Hardin||

    We are being subjected to a police state where dissidence is not being tolerated. These evictions exemplify the suppression of our civil liberties including the right to organize, one of the basis rights set forth by our founding fathers. Police brutality is running rampant under orders from Governors who have their pockets lined with Wall Street and Special Interest monies. Stand up and lend your voice to the global protest with the information sources and art listed on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.....treet.html

  • ||

    Come upstairs and look at my etchings!

  • Shorter Brandt Hardin||

    "Drum Circle! WOOT -- !!!"

  • Jeffersonian||

    Volokh had a good post on this the other day.

    Long story short: You can't camp there indefinitely if the city says you can't.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "We are being subjected to a police state where dissidence is not being tolerated."

    I don't think violence, rape and public health hazards qualify as "dissidence".

  • Art Critic||

    Your art is ugly. I want to vomit.

  • Esteban||

    Some idiot protester was just on NY1 saying the 'movement is about creating a community'. What does that even mean? It's less of an objective than they usually give.

  • Apocaliptarian||

    If you want a create a community, #OccupyPublicForests.

  • Esteban||

    Will I be free to gambol about?

  • MWG||

    Don't wake him... please.

  • jtuf||

    + 100 to Apocaliptarian

  • ||

    Sure occupy the White Mountains National Forest. That would teach us a lesson. Come spring, we would be finding dead hippies everywhere.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Promises, promises.

  • Suki||

    It means they want a government grant.

  • ||

    Those damned grad students, always looking for government grants.

  • Grad Student||

    Damned straight. Teaching undergrad classes and grading papers sucks donkey balls.

  • Flo Side||

    That's better than donkey dick

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS-ylRzCJpQ

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It actually does suck.

  • jtuf||

    A graduate student does actual work for the university in return for the tuition and stipend. That's like complaining about college professors looking for salaries.

  • Uncle Joe||

    Then why don't they be like the Amish?

    They don't give a shit about anyone and nobody gives a shit about them.
    Everybody happy.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because that way they can't use government force to make other people take part I their community.

    It isn't about living in a utopia for these occupistas; it's about forcing others to support their utopia.

  • jtuf||

    + 10 to mad libertarian guy

  • ||

    The Amish actually work...

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "about creating a community"

    You know, man, like one guy who makes bread, and, like, someone who takes care of public safety. Imagine a world where people offer services in exchange for the services of others.

  • Stan Marsh||

    You mean like a baker and a cop?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Why are the police using such aggressive force againt those non-agressive subdued young men.

  • Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy||

    If these guys were serious, they would show up with their tents every day and get arrested every day until the city backed down.

    If they can get 1000 people to do that, they'll win.

    If they're poseurs, though, they won't do that and they'll lose.

  • jimmy hat||

    what exactly are they gonna win?

    do you mean keep getting to whack off in tents at the park or win whatever the fuck it is they're trying to protest

  • Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy||

    Right, that.

    I certainly didn't mean they'd "win" in the sense of achieving anything significant.

    I just meant that if they want to "occupy" this park, they can still do that if they are willing to pay the price.

    If they attempted to re-occupy it every day, and they had 1000 or more people doing that, eventually Bloomberg would back down.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    More likely he'd find things to charge the protestors with and keep them in jail so they can't go back to the park.

  • ||

    The new felony of "continuing nuisance"

    They should follow Atlanta's model and just continually relocate the protesters elsewhere, like New Jersey.

  • Rob||

    They wouldn't be wacking off in any tents. Those are for raping people. They could just keep the strategy of wacking off right on the sidewalk.

  • jtuf||

    Dude, we're talking about Manhattanites. They would rather go to jail than New Jersey.

  • Art Vandelay||

    The key difference being...?

  • OWS Trustafarian||

    "Bummer, dude. Now where am I goona be able to, like, rape totally hawt hipster protest chicks, with absolute impunity...?"

  • AlmightyJB||

    I hear Penn State's pretty lenient about rape. You could try there.

  • Esteban||

    I think there are certain age and gender qualifications for who's allowed to be raped.

  • ||

    What does the Rape Committee have to say?

  • OWS Rape Committee||

    Female-Bodied OWSers "taking one for the team"...? UP TWINKLES!!!

  • Esteban||

    You mean the Rape Working Group, third in importance to the puppetry and drum circle working groups.

  • ||

    "Do we want it to be inserted nasally?"

  • Suki||

    These kids are too old to get the attention they crave at Penn State.

  • Coach Sandusky||

    "No wide receivers! Tight ends ONLY!"

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Go to any electric forest type of music fest.

  • Apocaliptarian||

    Legend has it Seraphim of Sarov kneeled on a boulder for 1000 nights as a devotion for God to have mercy on his enemies. Would but one of these fleabaggers have such courage.

  • Abraham J. Simpson||

    I want to hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra and see cops beating up hippies!

  • ||

    I pretty much despise the OWS movement.

    I support their right to be a pain in the ass.

    This wasn't about to end any other way, though. Without achievable short term demands or a short term time frame, there was no end in sight.

    Bloomberg still harbors presidential ambitions. Bloomberg made all his money, first, as an investment banker and, second, as someone who sells financial news to Wall Street. OWS is protesting Wall Street? Bloomberg is Wall Street!

    If and when he decides to seek higher office--guess who he's gonna turn to when he wants donations and support?

    The correct answer is Wall Street.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was hoping the protesters wouldn't be evidicted until anthropologists had adequate time to study in depth the goddamn hippie in its natural habitat.

  • ChrisO||

    They could do that in Eugene, Oregon anytime they wanted. No need to turn the Financial District into a toxic waste dump.

  • ||

    Why can't those hobos get work?

    I'm baffled.

  • OWS Trustafarian||

    Oh, like drumming and rape aren't hard work. FASCIST!

  • ||

    "Why can't those hobos get work?"

    I had this explained to me by my grandmother once--who lived through the great depression...

    Hobos actually work for a living. A hobo will come up to your house or your farm, and he'll ask if he can work for you for the day. In exchange, he wants a home-cooked meal and the right to sleep in your barn for the night.

    Hobos really will work for food.

    That's the difference between a hobo and a bum. Bums won't work for anything.

    We had this conversation back in the '80s. She had pulled over to talk to a guy that was holding a sign that read, "Will Work For Food". She felt sorry for him! So she told him that she had some yard work that needed to be done, and if he did a good job, she'd cook him something.

    To her, that was the way things worked all her life. To the bum (and he was a bum), I think he thought she was making fun of him. He cussed her out big time.

    Which is false advertising! The sign he was holding clearly stated "Will Work For Food".

  • ||

    Nice work on the alt text, by the way.

  • ||

    Riggs, you're a dirty OWS-sympathizing hippie.

    The hell are the cops supposed to do? If you're going to concede to the necessity of law, on any level, you're going to need someone to enforce it. And when people knowingly break the law and refuse to respond to clearly articulated demands that they cease their unlawful behavior, well, shit will inevitably happen. Bunch of stupid, starry-eyed kids and professional marxists aren't exactly occupying the Woolworth's lunch counter.

    Unless you think we should just surrender all property to the first mouth-breathing jackass willing to publicly defecate on it.

  • Professional Capitalist||

    What exactly is a "professional Marxist"? I thought that they didn't believe in money, only "Labor Vouchers", or some shit.

  • Professional Capitalist||

    Woolworths? Fuck me. They went out of business, what, 20 years ago? 25?

  • RoboCain||

    facepalm.jpg

  • ||

    Gee, I hope you're not around if they ever pass a law requiring me to turn in my gun or else.

    Because the law is the law?

    I have a right to protest--but only so long as I don't bother anyone?

    Like I said, OWS can kiss my ass as far as their demands go, but that right to protest of theirs? That's my right too. And I'm not willing to watch my right go down the shitter just because I don't like the last batch of people who invoked it.

    Bloomberg said it best--health and safety issues are more important than the protestors' right to protest?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7pF2GbUHYQ

    Go to 2:40

    I don't know what's more troubling--the idea that my rights are entirely alienable if they conflict with city health and safety regs?

    ...or the idea that the appropriate person to decide how important my rights are is the mayor.

  • ||

    I said 2:40, but it should be 2:25:

    "From the beginning, I've said that the city has two principal goals: guaranteeing public health and safety and guaranteeing the protestors' first amendment rights.

    But when those two goals clash, the health and safety of the public and our first responders must be the priority."

    ----Michael Bloomberg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7pF2GbUHYQ

    Watch at 2:25

    Libertarians have no business congratulating a mayor for making such decisions about the extent of our first amendment rights.

    Nobody ever said that respecting people's rights was gonna be convenient--but my rights don't exist for Michael Bloomberg's convenience.

  • ||

    Let them die of cholera. I suggest quarentining the area first though

  • ||

    The problem is that there are productive people who need to work in that area. Their filth and squalor is a threat to actual people.

  • ||

    Good point.

  • ||

    Well, thank god there's at least a few people on this thread who can look past the "SMELLY HIPPIES" angle to see the essential principles at stake here.

    Some other shit Bloomberg pulled included shutting down the subways and stopping people who lived in the area from leaving their homes. This was a fucking travesty and yet there's practically a party being thrown on this thread for the eviction.

    Maybe if we remind them this is the same mayor who signed a ban on smoking in NYC's parks?

  • ||

    Supporting the enforcement of a law against camping / sleeping on the streets isn't the same as endorsing all of Bloomberg's Nanny nonsense.

    That law is on the books and enforced because the residents of NYC don't want to live in a Third World shanty-town slum.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Do the legal owners of Zuccotti Park automatically surrender their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of ownership, simply because you (or whomever) elect to stage your protest right there... indefinitely?

    I mean... seriously -- ?!?

  • ||

    Our rights often overlap and contradict each other.

    The private property aspect of Zuccotti Park isn't as clear cut as you might think.

    "Zucotti Park is a privately owned public space, built by Brookfield in exchange for zoning concessions from the city. As part of the arrangement, the park has to be accessible to the public 24 hours a day; beyond that, the owners can set their own rules about the park’s use. This puts it in a legal gray area."

    http://www.propublica.org/arti.....ul-protest

  • Art Vandelay||

    "Zucotti Park is a privately owned public space, [...] beyond that, the owners can set their own rules about the park’s use."

    In other words, then: the eviction ruling was an entirely correct one, by any application of straightforward legal precedent. Next slide, please.

  • ||

    You conveniently left out that they're required to leave it open to public access 24/7.

    That's kinda an important distinction.

    With my commercial real estate experience, my guess is that this reg was written into the general conditions as part of the approval process.

    That means that reg becomes for practical purpose like part of the city's municipal code. It's voted on for approvals by the city council and planning commission.

    OWS' right to be there is at worst ambiguous.

    P.S. I'm not sure it's been substantiated that the owners of the property requested that OWS be prohibited from returning to the park to camp. Only that they requested that the park be cleaned.

    Even if they had requested that campers be prohibited, it's unclear whether--given the existence of what amounts to a city reg protecting the general public's access to the park 24/7--that the property owner's request would supersede any given protestor's first amendment rights.

    We're all born with a tendency to see everything in black and white. Most people grow out of it by their 20s. I'm not about to denigrate someone else's rights just because I don't like what they're doing or what they're saying.

    That's called gray. Our rights often overlap and conflict with each other. The solution where we pretend that one side's rights don't matter because we don't like them?

    Is the solution that's most hostile to libertarianism.

  • Art Vandelay||

    open to public access 24/7.

    That's kinda an important distinction.

    "Open to public access 24/7," however -- and, really, it's actually physically embarrassing, having to point this out, in broad daylight -- =/= "being allowed to live in said space, indefinitely, until YOU decide it's finally Well and Truly Time To Go";

    =/= "being allowed to openly urinate and defecate in said space, contra any/all existing public health and safety codes, thereby creating a very real and imminent danger to the public commonweal;

    =/= shielding and/or safeguarding demonstrable rapists (among other violent criminals), by openly counseling other protesters "don't tell the cops about this," once assaulted; =/= etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum.

    Believing otherwise...? That's called Going Full Retard.

    "Never, ever go full retard."

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • ||

    =/= "being allowed to openly urinate and defecate in said space, contra any/all existing public health and safety codes, thereby creating a very real and imminent danger to the public commonweal;

    The protestors wanted to use some funds they had raised to set up porta-potties, and the city wouldn't allow it.

  • Art Vandelay||

    The operation to clear the park had begun near the Brooklyn Bridge, where the police gathered before riding in vans to the block-square park. As they did, dozens of protesters linked arms and shouted “No retreat, no surrender,” “This is our home” and “Barricade!”

    Final swat, and then I'll stop the disciplinary spanking:

    The operation to clear the park had begun near the Brooklyn Bridge, where the police gathered before riding in vans to the block-square park. As they did, dozens of protesters linked arms and shouted “No retreat, no surrender,” “This is our home” and “Barricade!”

    No. No matter how much the concept of Noble Hipsters Engaged In Selfless Pwoooooohtest might exercise, in any given viewer, the impulse to pearl-clutch in revolutionary sympathy: the privately-owned property is, manifestly, NOT their fucking "home." And to believe otherwise -- or even to simply help foster or abet said imbecility, in others -- is as profoundly and repulsively anti-libertarian a stance as might conceivably be imagined.

    Applauding the modern-day, real life manifestation of Boulle's "Ape Law"...? Rand would vomit.

  • ||

    You know who else took stances that were as profoundly and repulsively anti-libertarian as might conceivably be imagined?

  • Art Vandelay||

    Yes, but -- with any luck at all, come '12 -- that, too, shall be remedied.

  • ||

    The privately-owned property is, manifestly, NOT their fucking "home." And to believe otherwise -- or even to simply help foster or abet said imbecility, in others -- is as profoundly and repulsively anti-libertarian a stance as might conceivably be imagined."

    I'm not arguing it's their home. I'm arguing that their right to be there is at worst ambiguous. If the general conditions on the property say people have a right to be there 24/7, and the planning commission and city council voted on and approved those conditions?

    Then their right to be there is at worst ambiguous. That's my argument.

    If some among OWS claim the park is their home, that doesn't change my argument one iota. Why would it?

    Just because it isn't their home, doesn't mean they don't have a right to protest there. Not even Bloomberg is saying they don't have a right to protest there because it's private property.

    When I'm looking at a dispute involving overlapping and conflicting rights--that's the way even Bloomberg sees it--I don't pick the side I like and just argue that the rights of the people I don't like should be forfeit.

    The rights of other people don't disappear just because I don't like those people. They have a right to protest. They have a right to access to that park 24/7. If the rights of OWS protestors overlap and conflict with other people's rights, that doesn't make the rights of OWS protestors suddenly disappear.

    And our longing for a black and white world--doesn't make it black and white.

  • Art Vandelay||

    *siiiiiiighhhhh* Baby steps, then. Repeated, from above:

    "Open to public access 24/7," however -- and, really, it's actually physically embarrassing, having to point this out, in broad daylight -- =/= "being allowed to live in said space, indefinitely, until YOU decide it's finally Well and Truly Time To Go."

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Derp.

  • ||

    Ken Shultz - They can protest in the park all they want. It is against the law to camp or sleep in the park. That is the law being enforced.

    My front yard has a sidewalk - it's privately owned land with public access. I can't stop people from walking down that sidewalk. I will not allow them to camp or crap in my yard. And my town would not allow me or anyone else to start building semi-permanent dwellings there without a permit.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Zuccotti Park is legally designated as a "Privately-Owned Public Space." Its legal owner is the Brookfield Properties group.

    Let me repeat that: The legal owner of Zuccotti Park is Brookfield Properties. If "taxpayers" were the actual, legal owners of ZP, then New York State's public park rules would automatically apply, and the park would not be open 24/7 to the general public in any event.

    The fact that a tax subsidy is paid to Brookfield Properties does not mean the public somehow magically "owns" the park, anymore than a person who receives unemployment benefits would suddenly no longer own their own home.

    Anyone noisily touting their supposed "real estate experience" ought to know at least that much, at barest minimum.

  • ||

    Who's arguing that the protestors own the park?

    I haven't seen that anywhere.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Hxrh.....aw-man.jpg

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Your argument, such as it is, is incoherent. The loss of the phantom "right" to physically inhabit another's rightful property, absolutely and in perpetuity, via mob action, is in no way equivalent to the loss of (your own Beckian wail) "the right to protest."

    Ohhhhhhhhh... but you already knew this, of course.

  • ||

    "The loss of the phantom "right" to physically inhabit another's rightful property..."

    How many times has this been addressed already?

    Bloomberg recognizes the protestors' right to be on that property 24/7--why don't you?

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Bloomberg recognizes the protestors' right to be on that property 24/7--why don't you?

    How many times has this been addressed, already? To borrow from Vandelay, above: "Open to public access 24/7," however [...] =/= "being allowed to live in said space, indefinitely."

    You continually ignore this unvarnished, inarguable fact. That renders your argument (as previously stated) incoherent at best, nakedly dishonest at worst. I'm willing to assume the former, for now.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    If OWSers have "the right to be on that property 24/7," with tents and sleeping bags and suchlike, then they must have no less a right to construct permanent wooden or brick dwellings in those exact same spaces... yes? And the accompanying right to have permanent plumbing, gas and/or electricity installed, as well?

    If the answer to either of these questions is a "no"... then you're already conceding their "24/7 rights" are not infinitely elastic ones, but ones with plainly definable limits. That being the case, then: those limits may (and should be) enforced, at the owners' discretion.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    No response? Noted.

  • ||

    I'm not sure how apt your "turn in my gun or else" analogy is, since there's already a right to gun ownership codified in the Constitution, but, I'll try to engage your argument...

    First, yes; the law IS the law. Maybe we don't agree with it, but it is what it is. Are you suggesting that it's viable to disregard all laws you disagree with? They should be allowed to set up a tent city simply because they want to? Where do you find a right for these people to set up a semi-permanent village or settlement on land that isn't theirs, anyway? Local ordinance, the Constitution, natural law? My offhand reference to Woolworths was a reference to:

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/.....gle-2.html

    I imagine we can all agree the people in question were right to challenge law or policy. Because, really, that's what we're talking about here. There is no real legal argument to be made for the occupiers; there's just a "moral"
    one. You think they should be allowed to continue doing what they're doing presumably because you've made a value judgment along the lines of "this protest is more important than the laws which say this protest is illegal." I, on the other hand, don't think this particular group of vagrants is engaged in anything worthwhile enough to permit them to just set up shanty towns all across our fair land.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Where do you find a right for these people to set up a semi-permanent village or settlement on land that isn't theirs, anyway?

    The only place anyone might conceivably find such a "right," obviously: his ass.

  • alienrants||

    In 1984, the Supreme Court dealt specifically with a denied request to erect tents in Lafayette Park across from the White House. They ruled thus in that case, Clark v. C.C.N.V.:

    (a) Assuming that overnight sleeping in connection with the demonstration is expressive conduct protected to some extent by the First Amendment, the regulation forbidding sleeping meets the requirements for a reasonable time, place, or manner restriction of expression, whether oral, written, or symbolized by conduct. The regulation is neutral with regard to the message presented, and leaves open ample alternative methods of communicating the intended message concerning the plight of the homeless. Moreover, the regulation narrowly focuses on the Government's substantial interest in maintaining the parks in the heart of the Capital in an attractive and intact condition, readily available to the millions of people who wish to see and enjoy them by their presence. To permit camping would be totally inimical to these purposes. The validity of the regulation need not be judged solely by reference to the demonstration at hand, and none of its provisions are unrelated to the ends that it was designed to serve.

    (b) Similarly, the challenged regulation is also sustainable as meeting the standards for a valid regulation of expressive conduct. Aside from its impact on speech, a rule against camping or overnight sleeping in public parks is not beyond the constitutional power of the Government to enforce. And as noted above, there is a substantial Government interest, unrelated to suppression of expression, in conserving park property that is served by the proscription of sleeping.

    A reasonable person would logically have to conclude, therefore, that OWS had ample alternate methods of expression already, and could not legitimately assume absolute and perpetual possession of the park for their own selfish purposes; thus denying its rightful benefit to others who simply want to eat lunch, feed the pigeons or what have you.

  • jtuf||

    Ken, I support the right to protest, but the Occupiers can leave Zuccotti Park and still protest. They set up their tents to cover every inch of Zuccotti Park, which prevents others from using the park. There's a larger, government owned park, in front of City Hall a few blocks away from Zuccotti Park. They could protest there and use the bathrooms in City Hall instead of defecating in the street or using restaurant bathrooms without paying.

  • ||

    That's an excellent argument.

    One that acknowledges that the protestors have rights.

    Some of the other arguments I'm seeing in this thread don't acknowledge the protestors' rights at all.

    ...and even Bloomberg is acknowledging that the protestors have a right to protest--in that park. Some of the arguments I'm seeing in this thread? Are more extreme than Bloomberg's!

    I'm seeing something like a Jane Fonda syndrome, when she went from opposing the Vietnam War on humanitarian grounds--to posing on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun with spent cartridges on the ground around her?

    They start out innocently enough, but somehow they end up somewhere more extreme than Bloomberg.

    I'm starting to wonder if some of them think we have a right to protest anywhere except in our homes!

    They think they're arguing in the name of liberty though.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Golf clap for the top-notch drama queening. Absolutely first rate.

    Seriously. Pile-drive into that fainting couch any harder, and it would have registered on government seismological charts.

  • ||

    "I'm starting to wonder if some of them think we have a right to protest anywhere except in our homes!"

    Now I'm wondering if maybe we have a right to protest in our own homes--but only if we've paid off our home loan?

    Do we have a right to protest in our own homes if the government guaranteed our outstanding loan during the credit crunch?

  • Shorter Ken Shultz||

    "Lawsy, lawsy, Miz Scarlett! All of Atlanta am on FIRE!"

  • Hudson||

    "Game Over, man! Game OVER!"

  • Little Caesar||

    “Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?!?”

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi||

    "I feel a great disturbance in the Liberal Sense of Entitlement... as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and their drum circles were suddenly silenced."

  • ||

    What they should have done is chosen a date of the month. And then held a protest every month on the first trading day of the month or whatever.

    That way they get the perpetuity, but they don't run into all these logistical problems with keeping all those people fed, sheltered and potty trained.

    The example of this I'm thinking of is Strategy 31 in Russia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy-31

    In fact, if I were the leaders of the OWS movement, I would look to synch up with Strategy 31--a protest movement devoted to the right to protest.

    Now that their right to protest has been violated--by Bloomberg's own admission...

  • First Amendment Realist||

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Now where does it say that any of these things can usurp the laws and/or rights of others?

    The rules of the Zucotti Park disallow camping as the space was not set aside for such purposes. The government has looked past that for quite some time, but that doesn't mean that it gave up its ability to enforce that rule in perpetuity.

    Secondly, the term used in the Bill of Rights is "peaceably to assemble". What was going on in the park at 2:00 a.m. has been far removed from peaceful.

    I do not believe there is any precedent being set here that is undermining yours or anyone's right to peacefully assemble.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Secondly, the term used in the Bill of Rights is "peaceably to assemble". What was going on in the park at 2:00 a.m. has been far removed from peaceful.

    Yup.

    "On the 17th, we going to burn New York City to the fucking ground [...] in a few days you going to see what a molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s."

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    Feeding a grossly swollen sense of entitlement never, ever results in it becoming appreciably smaller, regrettably.

  • Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy||

    I'm a little disappointed that the NYPD didn't drill their way to the center of the encampment and upload a Slayer CD.

    That would have been awesome.

  • Almanian||

    That WOULD have been awesome.

  • RoboCain||

    I was hoping for a zombie virus, or at least some sort of hemorrhagic fever, but that would have been cool too.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Ring Worm Outbreak At Occupy Santa Cruz

    "And your second wish, master...?" ;)

  • RoboCain||

    bleeding eyeballs > toenail fungus

  • ||

    Occupy Santa Cruz looks like summer camp. They are occupying - a camp ground.

  • ||

    As far as I have heard, there were no fire hoses used.

    Bloomie, I am disappoint.

  • ||

    Not sure about fire hoses, but they're going to have to use some sort of high-pressure hoses to restore the park to a useable state.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    "Nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure."

  • Rob||

    They should just bring in some big-ass drum fans and then rent one of those snow machines. Instant blizzard, problem solved.

  • ||

    I don't know if the city's sewers could handle that much hippy grime and patchouli oil.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The plaza is private property. This is not a free speech issue.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    ^ THIS. ^ Plainly, obviously and patently.

  • ||

    Not that Riggs is not a snarky little whiner.

  • ||

    It's open to the public by contract though, so there are free speech issues attached to the property.

    However, 24 hour occupancy is not free speech.

  • sevo||

    OK, no props to the content of O(X) supposed message, but.......
    "Shall make no law..." sorta means speech is not limited to business hours.

  • ||

    If we're going to be literalists, "speech" doesn't include radio or TV broadcasts in the 1st and "effects" doesn't include telephone conversations in the 4th.

    IOW, you don't want to be a literalist.

  • sevo||

    Non sequitur.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The conditions by which the contract (and the plaza itself) came in to being are dubious, from a property rights point of view.

  • ||

    I like how this allows the city to have its cake and eat it too. They can police it as a public park when they see fit, but then repair to its private property status when they want to shut down protests in it. "The owners asked us to do this, we swear."

    No city should ever build a public park again, just create these weird hybrids and you get the best of both worlds, from an asshole-fascist-mayor-like-Bloomberg perspective.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Missing the consequence-free raping already, are you?

  • ||

    Yes, that's exactly it, I'm missing the consequence-free raping and the socialism and the patchouli.

    And really, whenever there is a rape reported anywhere, the NYPD should just assume that those premises have become a stinking cesspool of lawlessness and evict whoever may be occupying them at the time, regardless of whether they had anything to do with said rapes or not.

  • Art Vandelay||

    Yeah... on second reading, that really was an unnecessarily cheap shot, dammit. I withdraw the statement.

  • Marxist Douche||

    Do they own the park, or posses it?

  • Marxist Douche||

    lost "s" over here

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->s

  • Suki||

    Wow, I thought I read that earlier.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The police action during the whole thing has sucked from day one. Especially this thing with the journalists. There is probably no positive credit to be said about them.

  • ¢||

    In fact, if I were the leaders of the OWS movement, I would look to synch up with Strategy 31--a protest movement devoted to the right to protest.

    If you were a leader of OWS, you'd understand that a very, very large part of your occupation's point, certainly more important than the exercise of any "right," is to mirror, on the local Zionist-occupied territory of "Wall Street," the unjust Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    So what you'd want to do is just go and occupy a chunk of Hymietown, and do nothing there, as threateningly and unpleasantly as you can manage to sit and do nothing.

    This is why "demands" and "meaning" and other legit-protest-type things (as seen among the 31ers) were secondary—to the point of absence—to the Occupants' just occupying.

    Hence the name, see.

  • sevo||

    "Hymietown"
    Uh, what?

  • ||

    I think he was just trying to call the OWS antisemitic.

    I think he was suggesting that's what the OWS leadership would call it.

    That's what I think anyway. I'm not sure.

  • A fan||

    ...and 'Himeytowns' across the world?

    That was patently stupid.

  • fish||

    HERC.....baby!

    Welcome back! You are a refreshing change from rectals other personality.

  • RM||

    He's back! Hurrah!

  • Almanian||

    All hail, HERCULE TRIATHLON SAIVINIEN!

    Huzzah! Do people say that any more? Well, I DO! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

  • Kristen||

    OMG!!! Our hero!

  • Triumph||

    [[[[[[[[[[[]]]]]]]]]]]!

  • Tell 'em, HERC!||

  • imhotep||

    Somebody just made a law against assembling and somebody just enforced it. They can all rot in hell.

  • A fan||

    Tomorrow we'll assemble and shit in your living room, douchebag.

  • Sandi (not)||

    I took a shit in imhotep's living room once

  • PersonalJustice||

    It seems to me that the best solution would have been for NYC to restore full control of the park back to its owners.

    Bloomberg solves his public health and safety problem without violating anybody's rights. Brookfield gets full control of their property back. I get the schaudenfreude of a bunch of hipsters losing a public park.

    It's win-win-win.

  • A fan||

    Brilliant! They'll never think of it.

  • sevo||

    "It seems to me that the best solution would have been for NYC to restore full control of the park back to its owners."

    Pretty much as I'm seeing it; a classic tragedy of the commons.

  • Almanian||

    Nope. This is beyond "peacably assembling", and beyond pursuing "redress for grievances against the gummint" and stuff.

    Not peacable, with the for-fuck's-sake 24-7 drumming, and grievances aren't against the gummint. Or maybe they area. We're not sure.

    But you can't live here. Come and protest every day? Fine. Take shifts and do it around the clock into perpetuity? OK. What they were doing - whatever that was? Basically LIVING here 24-7 and precluding everyone else's use of the park. No. Fuck you. Time to go home. If you have one.

    Fuck you hippies, do not question my authoritah!

  • The Dude||

    This aggression will not stand, man.

  • ||

    The actual language of "petition the govt for a redress of grievances" may include grievances against private parties.

  • sevo||

    Regardless of any actual language, the Constitution does not *grant* rights; it limits the government in the government's continuing effort to limit what people might do.
    You can do whatever you please without looking for a note about it in the Constitution; once someone gripes about what you're doing, we get to rely on courts to sort it out.

  • Holy Cow||

    Well, gosh, why don't all the protestors just move to Arizona? Why, according to this very here blog, no one in AZ is allowed to respect any personal property rights. Nope, neither the state of AZ or its citizenry have the right to grant access according to its wishes. Just ask any True Libertarian. So OWSers march right into AZ. Anyone asks who you are and what you're doing here, why you just snub your nose and say: "good day, sir slash madam" and stroll off.

    Anyway, has the entire OWS movement helped to clear up the True Libertarian love affair with Ron Paul's laughable foreign policy ideas? You mean to tell me that the surrounding 'hoods, not just eeevil Wall Street, have suffered due to recent clOWnS? In other words, not everything that happens in Zuccotti Park stays in Zuccotti Park. Hmmm. So if there's trouble in a foreign country, that might spell trouble for this country. Naaaahhh! That's just silly. If history has taught us one thing over and over again, it's this: actions in one part of the world never have any effect on any other part of the world. Ever.

    Anyway, Paulistas, make sure you get all smug tonight at bedtime when you dreamily recall how the good Dr. Paul is a religious conservative, just like Sarah Palin. Well, except that RP's stand against abortion is best savored with a lit bowl of Grandaddy Purple. Whereas SP's religious conservatism kind of reminds you of those 27 women who suddenly decided to wash their hair on prom night, all night. Good times.

    One more thing: Paul has no chance. Maybe Rand Paul someday, in a few years. But Ron? Yeah, suckers, donate your money to him. A real worthy cause. I hear RP's ego has its own zip code. True?

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Does this come in a subtitled version?

  • ||

    I think it is easier to understand after taking some of that Grandaddy Purple he mentioned.

  • ||

    As the evening wore on, protesters broke into small discussion groups and tried to keep the energy up, while snacking on pizza, sausages and vegan soup.

    NYT, you cunts. What's wrong with just saying vegetable soup? Hipster douchebags.....

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||

    thanks

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