In a stunning example of small-minded politics, Mayor Bloomberg is sending the NYPD to forcibly evict brave people who acted as a living rebuke to Wall Street’s indifferent and immoral behavior toward a majority of Americans.
I urge the protesters to oppose this eviction with dignity and nonviolence. The world will be watching. The mayor and others may want to turn this battle into one over law-and-order and divert attention from Wall Street. Don’t let that happen. The issue is that tycoons like the mayor, who have no solutions to the economic crisis, are sending in the police. They should be sending the FBI into Wall Street instead.
This could be handled differently. The mayor could have been negotiating an alternative site for an encampment where the rights of free speech and assembly would be secured. Instead he has chosen the path of arbitrary eviction.
An urgent investigation is needed into:
- Why the mayor has seemed to switch his position in the past 24 hours;
- The origins of the bizarre “Notice of Cleaning and Upkeep” issued by Brookfield today.
The mayor’s girlfriend sits on the private board that owns Zuccotti Park. Did she and the mayor discuss this notice, and if so, when? Since the protests, which began September 17, have been in violation of virtually all the rules contained in the “notice”, why the urgency of evicting everyone now and on a day’s notice?
The text of the eviction notice is below:
NOTICE OF CLEANING AND UPKEEP OPERATIONS TO COMMENCE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2011
To Who It May Concern:
Please be advised that we will be conducting deferred cleaning and maintenance in Zuccotti Park on Friday, October 14th. In the past three weeks we have been unable to perform our normal daily upkeep operations. As a result, and particularly because of the heavy and continuous park usage during this time, conditions in the Park have deteriorated presenting health and cleanliness issues which must be addressed.
We intend to proceed to clean the Park in sections so that one-third of the Park will be cleaned at a time while the remaining portions of the Park can continue to be used. Cleaning operations will commence on the western portion (Church Street) of the Park at 7:00 AM, and Brookfield representatives will be in the Park to delineate each of the areas being cleaned. It will be necessary for the public to leave the portion of the Park being cleaned while cleaning operations are underway, and to remove any possessions from the area being cleaned. Any possessions left in an area when it is ready to be cleaned will be considered to have been left there because they have been abandoned and they will be disposed of accordingly.
We anticipate that it will take approximately 4 hours to clean each section of the Park. Once a section has been cleaned, it will be re-opened to the public for lawful use consistent with our regulations. For your information, a copy of Brookfield's regulations governing the use of the Park is attached to this Notice.
Zuccotti Park is a privately-owned space that is designed and intended for use and enjoyment by the general public for passive recreation.
For the safety and enjoyment of everyonem, the following types of behavior are prohibited in Zuccotti Park:
Camping and/or the erection of tents or other structures.
Lying down on the ground, or lying down on benches, sitting areas or walkways which unreasonably interferes with the use of benches, sitting areas or walkways by others.
The placement of tarps or sleeping bags or other covering on the property.
Storage or placement of personal property on the ground, benches sitting areas or walkways which unreasonably interferes with the use of such areas by others.
The use of bicycles, skateboards and roller blades.
Removal of objects from trash receptacles.
Any other activities prohibited by law or statute.