Of course, I'm reading this article just as the Twitter informs me that the NYPD is at Liberty Park, trying to take down Occupy Wall Street's medical tent while the Rev. Jesse Jackson tries to stop them. The occupiers are chanting: "Who do you serve? Who do you protect"? Good question!
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking Monday as Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated the passage of a month encamped in Zuccotti Park, said he was trying to strike a balance between protecting protesters’ right to free speech and the needs of Lower Manhattan residents.
“The Constitution doesn’t protect tents,” he said at a news conference in Queens. “It protects speech and assembly.”
Hmm. I wonder if it protects umbrellas? Which are, after all, a lot like small, short tents without bottoms.
The mayor expressed concern that those exercising a “right to be silent” might be getting drowned out amid the din of the protests.
“We can’t have a place where only one point of view is allowed,” he said. “There are places where I think it’s appropriate to express yourself, and there are other places that are appropriate to set up Tent City. They don’t necessarily have to be one and the same.”