Early Tuesday morning, Mayor 1 percent himself was beginning an early morning press conference to defend the even earlier morning raid and destruction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, and then an early rising judge ordered that Bloomberg could not unilaterally usurp the Constitution.
As NYC Mayor Michael Bloomber began his 8 a.m. press conference today, as he was explaining to everyone how "No right is absolute," he learned of a 6 a.m. ruling ordering that the protesters from Zuccotti Park be allowed to return along with their belongings.
Via the National Lawyer's Guild NYC Chapter:
"New York, NY: At around 6 AM on November 15, 2011, attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group obtained a temporary restraining order against the City of New York, various City agencies, and Brookfield properties directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings."
"Earlier, at approximately 1 AM, the NYPD began massing around Zuccotti Park “aka Liberty Park.” In the following hours reports surfaced that the NYPD entered the park with police in riot gear backed up by numerous police vehicles, including a bulldozer, evicting occupiers. In the process they destroyed property and arrested dozens of occupiers and protestors including NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and District Leader Paul Newell."
"In the coming hours, days and weeks the LPLWG will pursue all legal options to enable the occupiers to continue to exercise their first amendment rights to speech and assembly for speech. Attorney Yetta Kurland, one of the attorneys from the LPLWG, said, “This is a victory for everyone who believes in the First Amendment. We will continue to fight for everyone’s right to continue the occupation.” In response to the injunction, Daniel Alterman, also an attorney with the LPLWG, stated that, “This is a victory for all Americans, for the constitution and for the 99%.” Gideon Oliver, another attorney with the LPLWG reacted by saying, “The LPLWG has been fighting to ensure their right to free speech from day one of the occupation. The occupiers right to free speech is based in our most core legal principles and we will be here till the end to fight for those rights.”
Bloomberg praised the NYPD for what he called their "professional" conduct during the raid, and boasted of no injuries during the process while conceding that some protesters may have viciously attacked the feet of policemen with their faces.(No, Bloomberg did not say the part about attacking policemen's feet. I stole that from @Atrios.) He also mentioned that there had been some 200 arrests during the raid, a much higher count than was previously thought.
After being becoming aware of the court's order, Bloomberg began to explain that he intended to re-open the park to the protesters this morning, but because of the order preventing him from evicting, he could no longer allow people back in.
It's difficult to follow what logic makes Bloomberg believe he doesn't have to comply with the order because it exists. Trust me, don't ponder that one too long, it will make your head hurt. He refers to the judge's ruling and adds "presuming it exists." He won't believe it until he sees it, and that was the end of the presser.
Now the celebratory protesters who have amassed in Foley Square and are marching back to Zuccotti Park expecting it to be open will find it is now closed, even though legally it isn't supposed to be closed.
UPDATE: Bloomberg is defying the order.
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