Wednesday, November 16, 2011

(Most) Democrats Angered by NYC Action to Clean Up Zucotti Park... and Restore Safe Clean Environment

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Occupy Wall Street. A protest movement against crony capitalism, corporatism, taxpayer funded bailout, growing income disparity, and a host of other lesser pet social peeves has finally been given the bit and bridled by Mayor Bloomberg and the courts. To which a welcome round of applause should be heard across the nation.

(The Hill) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) decision to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from a Lower Manhattan park is a blow to free speech, several House Democrats said.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, warned that in preventing protesters from camping out in Zuccotti Park, the city has “effectively removed [the protesters’] ability to be there 24/7.”

“The concern to me was that the occupiers can stay there but cannot set up permanent location, which kind of begs the question of, ‘Are they gonna have a daytime presence and then be gone [at night]?’

“I wish there would have been something done to accommodate the ability for them to stay there for the duration.”

While a few Democrats acknowledged that Bloomberg had a responsibility to ensure the safety and health of those in the park, others offered support for the demonstrators and concern that the mayor was going too far.

“I’m afraid that what the mayor says is temporary may tend to be permanent as they put up more restrictions,” said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). “I’m very cautious [because] I’m very supportive of [the protesters], and if the city doesn’t keep its word [I’ll] have a lot more [to say].”

Bloomberg on Tuesday sent police forces into Zuccotti Park — the spot that launched the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement — to clear tents, tarps and other belongings in an effort to clean the area in the name of public health.

The mayor said the protesters would be “free to return” after the sanitation crews were through, but only without their tents and sleeping bags.

“Protesters — and the general public — are welcome there to exercise their First Amendment rights, and otherwise enjoy the park, but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags or tarps and, going forward, must follow all park rules,” Bloomberg said Tuesday in a news release.

So, just how is it a blow to free speech because the authorities are taking action to clean up the park. First, the city has a responsibility to maintain public cleanliness and secondly, don't all residents of the city have the right to enjoy the park grounds without the constant 24/7 distractions?

“Protesters — and the general public — are welcome there to exercise their First Amendment rights, and otherwise enjoy the park, but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags or tarps and, going forward, must follow all park rules,” Bloomberg said Tuesday in a news release.

Read this paragraph three times trying to find something unreasonable or nefarious in it. The only rational conclusion that can drawn is that it is reaonble and proper public policy.

Bloomberg’s plan initially hit a snag Tuesday when lawyers for the activists challenged the police action, causing the city to close the park until a court could rule on the complaint. Late Tuesday afternoon, however, a judge ruled that New York City and the park’s private owners could clear the protesters from Zuccotti Park and prevent them from re-encamping.

Hm, perhaps there is hope that the rule of law and private property rights will be preserved. Given the tenor of most of OWS crowd {referred to by some as the Occupoopers of Wall Street} and their ACLU attorneys, democratic politicians and democratic lawmakers we still have cause for worry. True liberty minded individuals must remain vigilant.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D) agreed that New York City has a responsibility “to protect the health and safety of protesters and the community.” But the New York liberal, who represents Lower Manhattan, said the police have to balance those concerns with the “core First Amendment rights of protesters.”

“The city’s actions to shut down OWS last night raise a number of serious civil-liberties questions that must be answered,” Nadler said in a joint news release with state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D). “Whatever the courts rule, the city’s actions here must not be a backdoor means of ending the free exercise of protesters’ rights.”

Spoken like a true liberal ideologue Nadler is saying he supports protecting health and safety but is worried about the courts actually giving authorities the teeth to insure both. Basically saying nothing in the end.

Not all Democrats were critical of Bloomberg’s action. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), a prominent supporter of the Occupy Wall Street activists, said Bloomberg’s move is no threat to the larger movement, which he characterized as “the embodiment of the frustrations of the American people.”

“The movement will continue,” Larson said. “They’re still going to be able to go there. It’s just that there were some health issue and concerns of deterioration to the park...

See, there are some reasonable democrats. Been saying this all along. But it seems to get lost in the label game and hyperbole.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) delivered a similar message, saying Bloomberg’s decision to protect public health was spot on.

“From all indications, from many sources, it was becoming a health hazard [and] they had to clean it out,” Pascrell said. “[Bloomberg] told ’em not to come back with their bedding, because it’s only going to happen again. … I can’t fault him for that.”

Another reasonable democrat. Just what is going on here anyway?

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he was reluctant to comment on actions happening outside of his district, but voiced more general concerns that such moves could infringe on First Amendment protections.

“We always must remain careful about disrupting a non-violent, non-threatening protest,” Cleaver said. “That’s antithetical to who we are.”

As we return to reality. Read the full text of article here.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. How does not being allowed to sleep somewhere a violation of free speech rights. They can protest all day long. Crazy liberals.

    I wonder if they would feel the same way if the Tea Party had a month long sleepover? Of course it would be much neater and much few incidents of crime. Somehow I don't think anyone would be raped at a tea party event.

  2. I am quite sure you are right. With respect to the rape issue especially. Something about self respect, respect for others, and maturity.

  3. As an admirer of Mr. Bloomberg, I think that he handled it pretty darn well. He waited, thinking that maybe the weather would cause them to disperse, and, when it didn't, he took strong, decisive action. The way that I see it here, whenever you're able to piss off Ann Coulter and Ed Schultz simultaneously, you're doing a pretty damn decent job.


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