Ahead of the Bloomberg administration’s surprise decision this morning to postpone the eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park (also known as Liberty Plaza), 14 members of the City Council called on the mayor to “respect the deep traditions of free speech” and allow the protesters to stay. In a letter sent to the Bloomberg, they wrote:
We are writing to appeal to you not to enforce new rules at Liberty Plaza that would effectively evict the Occupy Wall Street protest. Please respect the deep traditions of free speech and right of assembly that make this a great, free, diverse, and opinionated city and nation. While we do not all necessarily agree with their point-of-view, we support their right to be there, and we feel strongly that it would be a mistake for the City of New York to evict them.
When you announced yesterday that the park would be cleaned, you indicated that protestors would be allowed to return, suggesting to the public and the protestors that the Occupy Wall Street protest would be allowed to continue. The new rules you are enforcing, however – in particular the prohibition on sleeping bags and gear – is an eviction notice and potentially an unconstitutional closing of a forum to silence free speech.
See the full letter here.