Mayor Bloomberg to #OWS: First Amendment Protects Speech not Assembly

Mayor Bloomberg - First Amendment Protects Speech not AssemblyAP
Mayor Bloomberg had an eventful Tuesday morning. Evidently, he and the Brookfield Office Properties thought they could simply kick a bunch hippies of “their lawn” and call it a “fall cleaning” and as such were slapped with a restraining order after evicting the Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park earlier in dark of the morning. Later in the day, Bloomberg held a press conference to explain why he evicted the protesters and why he did not comply with the restraining order.

We’ll break down the gist for you:

  1. Don’t worry everyone will be allowed back to protest some more. We’re just tidying up a bit with a little riot gear.
  2. You just can’t bring back dangerous items like tents, sleeping bags and tarps. Those things are deadly! I once saw I guy get his head blown off by a sleeping bag.
  3. Things you can bring to the park: guns.
  4. There’s this Supreme Law of Zuccotti Park that forces us to do what we do. It is the Supreme Law of Zuccotti Park, this holiest of places, and it says that the park “must be open to passive recreation 24 hours a day”. We must follow this law. There is no other law or anything else that we know of that would trump this law. Does anyone else know of any other law? ‘Cause we don’t know of any other law or amendment or anything? Anyone?
  5. This is just an issue of First Amendment rights vs. public health and safety which is why we took away the generators, fuel, and library of donated books that posed a fire hazard from the park.
  6. Because the number of protesters has grown, this has become an intolerable situation. So instead of taking up your concerns, we’re just kicking you out.
  7. “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.”

Bloomberg: Park Occupiers Must Follow Rules