Follow #OWS eviction on the Guardian's liveblog

As is often the case with breaking news, The Guardian's liveblog of the happenings at Zucotti Park this morning is a really good way to follow the action (in addition to Xeni's excellent ongoing coverage):

9.07am ET / 2.07pm GMT: Going back over the Bloomberg statement, much of which he repeated at his press conference, perhaps the most striking line was his cold assertion that when First Amendment rights and and safety priorities clash, health and safety that trumps the US constitution. Here's the quote in full again:

"From the beginning, I have said that the City had two principal goals: guaranteeing public health and safety, and guaranteeing the protesters' First Amendment rights. But when those two goals clash, the health and safety of the public and our first responders must be the priority."

8.46am ET / 1.46pm GMT: Bloomberg ends with a peroration to New York City as city that prides itself defending the right to freedom of expression. Provided the court order "if it exists" (it does) is rescinded, that right will be restored in Zuccotti Park, he says. And with that, the press conference is over.

Occupy Wall Street: police evict protesters - live updates

(Image: OWS-mediaguy1, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from nickgulotta's photostream)


  1. When the ability to protest and demonstrate peacefully is curtailed, there are few alternatives. Unfortunately, most of them involve blood in the streets.

    1. I don’t really understand why the NYPD did this, but that is silly hyperbole. They have been in that park for months. Over that time there have been occasional issues with the authorities, but the fact of the matter is they were able to set up a kitchen, a library etc. They absolutely were able to protest and demonstrate peacefully.

      1. Yes, they _were_ able to protest and demonstrate. Though the actions by the authorities are intended to make that action harder and more prone to arrest.

        You can cry hyperbole all you want. That doesn’t change the situation.

  2. The issue of “public health and safety” seems always to be used as a blanket term and means of gaining leverage for actions whose true motive has nothing to do with safety.  It is actually hard to think of any situation in the real world that doesn’t have some kind of risk associated with it;  just being alive is risky.  Hence this excuse always lends itself to those who need a “higher purpose” to legitimate their actions and silence opposition.  As a youngster in school I always perplexed by the fact that during the French revolution the body responsible for The Reign of Terror (16,000 to 40,000 put to death) was called  The Committee of Public Safety.  I understand this perfectly now.

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