Court allows OWS tents at Zuccotti despite Bloomberg ban
The National Lawyers Guild says it has obtained a court order that allows Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to New York’s Zuccotti Park. Earlier the activists’ encampment was ousted by the police force.
The guild says the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters, reports AP.Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he has not seen the court order yet. However, the city will go to court immediately, he added.The mayor added that the city wanted to open the park for protesters once it is cleaned, but would not allow them use tents, sleeping bags or tarps.Still, hours after protesters’ campsites were dismantled by police, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street supporters vowed to keep up their demonstrations, and met to discuss their next move.The protesters have attempted to re-enter New York’s Zuccotti Park, hours after being removed by police earlier on Tuesday, arresting about 200 demonstrators. Among them four journalists have been handcuffed, writes The New York Times. At the moment about 100 police officers are patrolling the park while hundreds of protesters circle around it. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he had hoped to reopen the park to the public at 8 a.m., but at the news conference where he spoke early on Tuesday he said he wanted to make sure the order is restrained before making his next move.
'Occupy' activist Alexa O'Brien was among hundreds of protesters who have been camped out in Zuccotti Park for two months. She was in the park when the police started their raid on the protest, and told RT people were dispersed by force as police congested the park.“What I saw was essentially wall to wall police vans and cops in riot gear. I have never seen so many police cars in my entire life – every single parking spot was taken up all around Wall Street. You could not get anywhere near Zucotti,” she recalls.She explained Americans have no choice but to raise these grievances with the government. “Our government has been controlled by factions – every institution of society is controlled by dominant factions that are essentially creating a myriad of ills and abuses of a government,” she says. The US police have faced criticism for some of the tactics they have used, but O’Brien says she was not in the least surprised by the way they have gone about trying to dismantle the peaceful protests.“What they are doing is tyrannical. This continued brutality on the part of the cops, especially coming at 2 am, even arresting members of the press, not allowing any of the press to film what was going on – all this is going to create more dissent in this country,” she points out. “I am not surprised by it because citizens have been prevented from exercising their right to freedom of assembly in New York City and across the nation. The force established to serve and protect civil society now justifies the increased budget with armaments, using the war on terror as a rationale for those increased budgets. This is the state of our democratic republic – it is in decay,” she stresses.According to O’Brien, the protesters do not need permission to take to the streets.“Whether the public agrees or disagrees, citizens of the US have the right to freedom of assembly. We do not need permission from the US government or from any law enforcement official to assemble and to address the government with our grievances,” she maintains.