Sixteen hours after baton-wielding cops cleared Occupy Wall Street protesters and their tents from Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, the demonstrators were allowed back in - but without any of their camping gear.That could be because they're largely idiots. As I said in a previous post the First Amendment rights to assemble and protest do not supersede private property rights or the rights of cities to enforce permit or camping ordinances.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman said the city can enforce “reasonable” rules to maintain safety and hygiene at the encampment that has become the epicenter of a nationwide movement.
The protesters have a right to free speech but they “have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators and other installations,” he wrote.
Occupy Wall Street declined to appeal the decision immediately. “We will think about our options,” said lawyer Yetta Kurland.
A crowd of protesters surrounded the closed park Tuesday night, chanting “let us in!”
Police let them past barricades single-file, but only after reading the new rules over bullhorns: no tents, no tarps, no sleeping bags, no camping equipment, no large bags of any kind.
Though the new rules will make the occupation close to impossible once the temperatures drop, the crowd was jubilant.
Given the temporary restraining order that was issued this morning, I was fearful that some liberal judge might grant the #Occumorons rights that clearly don't exist, thus forcing a real showdown between Mayor Nanny Bloomberg and the courts. If that had happened and I was the mayor...well, I would have stopped this thing on Day 1, but assuming it had gone this long...I would have informed the court that we're not going to abide by its ruling and the cops work for the city, not the judge. If the judge wanted to enforce a stupid ruling, he could come down and do it himself. That's a battle we really need to have one of these days because we've ceded far too much power to the courts.