Court Rules Against OWS

by Brian Bolduc

The Associated Press is reporting that Judge Mike Stallman has ruled that the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not have the right to occupy Zuccotti Park. More to follow.

UPDATE: Here’s the ruling.

UPDATE II: Here’s the money quote:

The Court is mindful of movants’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly. However, “[e]ven protected speech is not equally permissible in all places and at all times.” (Snyder v Phelps, 131 S Ct 1207, 1218 [2011], quoting Cornelius v NAACP Legal Defense & Ed. Fund, Inc., 473 US 788, 799 [1985].) Here, movants have not demonstrated that the rules adopted by the owners of the property, concededly after the demonstrations began, are not reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions permitted under the First Amendment.

UPDATE III: More from New York magazine:

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway, in the city’s filing, argued that allowing protesters back into Zuccotti Park would make for “unsafe and unsanitary conditions and the substantial threat to public safety.” The city said that protesters were gathering supplies that could be used as weapons, including a “steady accumulation of combustibles, smoking, and other hazards … such as cardboard tubes with metal pipes inside.” They also cited the Brooklyn Bridge march on October first, claiming that “knives, mace and hypodermic needles were observed discarded on the roadway.” The city cited 73 misdemeanor and felony complaints and approximately 50 arrests.

Despite the judge’s ruling, the park will be opened at some point and everyone will be allowed back in, just not with the supplies they need for an extended stay. When the barricades do part, it will be interesting to watch the interaction between police and protesters. Luckily, there’s a livestream for that.

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