Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free speech under attack in Zuccotti Park ~ @nyclu #ows

New York Civil Liberties Union - From the Desk of Donna Lieberman
View this email online.
(Photo Credit: Nick Gulotta)
Late last night, NYPD officers in riot gear raided Zuccotti Park. Call the city's 311 line and complain about this shameful assault on free speech.
Dear friend,

Free speech is under assault in Zuccotti Park -- on Mayor Bloomberg's orders.
With little warning late last night, baton-wielding NYPD officers raided the Lower Manhattan headquarters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, evicting protesters from the park and making at least 200 arrests. Police blocked reporters from covering the raid.
Rousting hundreds of peaceful protesters from their tents in the dead of night amidst a media blackout doesn't promote public safety -- it endangers it.
We can't let this stand. Call the city's 311 line and urge Mayor Bloomberg to embrace free speech and allow the protesters to return to the park with their tents.
Today's court ruling upholding the eviction was disappointing, but it is important to remember that the First Amendment sets a floor -- not a ceiling -- for determining whether government should accomodate free expression. There is no reason why the Bloomberg administration cannot embrace a more expansive understanding of free speech and allow the protesters and their tents back into Zuccotti Park in a way consistent with public safety and health. It should do so immediately.
The NYCLU has teams of legal observers monitoring events as they develop. Already, seven journalists have been arrested covering today's events. We will work to ensure that police are held accountable for any misconduct. You can help us. If you are the victim of police misconduct, or if you witness it, send us your story at protest@nyclu.org.
Last night's raid won't stop the Occupy Wall Street movement. Demonstrators are planning major protest marches in New York City this week. The NYCLU will be there to monitor the police and protect protest. (For live updates, visit the NYCLU's Twitter feed.)
Raise your voice in defense of protest: Call the city's 311 line and complain about this shameful closure of Zuccotti Park.
Thank you for all that you do,
Donna Lieberman Signature 3

Donna Lieberman
NYCLU Executive Director

© NYCLU - New York Civil Liberties Union www.nyclu.org | info@nyclu.org | P: 212-607-3300
125 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004

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