Posted by troublemaker on November 15, 2011
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, on orders from Mayor Bloomberg, Zuccotti Park was cleared by police dressed in riot gear. The air space was made free of news helicopters and the press was kept from photographing, video taping, or otherwise recording the event from within the park or surrounding area.(1) Hundreds of arrests were made, including the arrest of Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez who was present at Zuccotti Park at the time of the raid(2). Obviously, there are members of New York government who were strongly opposed to the mayors decision.
After the clean up, the park was reopened to the public. Protesters were welcome back in but they were not allowed to bring tents, tarps, or other camping equipment. But not for long.
6:30 AM – Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings signs court order which makes it clear that not only will protesters be allowed back into the park, but they may bring their “tents and other property” (2) However, in what seems to be a response to the court order Mayor Bloomberg ordered Zuccotti Park again closed. Protesters are expected to obey the orders of police but police and the mayor refuse to comply with a court order issued by a Supreme Court Justice?
Mayor Bloomberg has been clear. Although ignoring the Constitutional guarantee that the people may peacefully assemble might be a problem with interpretation, the order issued by a supreme court justice was very, very clear. As police have a duty to enforce court orders, one wonders if Mayor Bloomberg will be the next to be arrested.