Zuccotti Park Eviction: Court Order Against City Says Protesters Can Return With Tents In Tow (VIDEOS)
The guild says the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city knew about the court order but has not seen it. He says the city plans to go court immediately.
Zuccotti Park was cleared overnight so that crews could clean it. Bloomberg says that was done "to reduce the risk of confrontation."
He says the city had planned to allow the protesters back in the park after it was cleaned. Under the city's plans, protesters would not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps and would have to follow all park rules.
The city says that the property removed from the park is being kept in storage, and that protesters can retrieve their belongings with a photo ID.
On Tuesday the National Lawyers' Guild New York Chapter released this statement on the judge's order:
New York, NY: At around 6 AM on November 15, 2011, attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group obtained a temporary restraining order against the City of New York, various City agencies, and Brookfield properties directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings.
Earlier, at approximately 1 AM, the NYPD began massing around Zuccotti Park "aka Liberty Park." In the following hours reports surfaced that the NYPD entered the park with police in riot gear backed up by numerous police vehicles, including a bulldozer, evicting occupiers. In the process they destroyed property and arrested dozens of occupiers and protestors including NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and District Leader Paul Newell.
In the coming hours, days and weeks the LPLWG will pursue all legal options to enable the occupiers to continue to exercise their first amendment rights to speech and assembly for speech. Attorney Yetta Kurland, one of the attorneys from the LPLWG, said, “This is a victory for everyone who believes in the First Amendment. We will continue to fight for everyone’s right to continue the occupation." In response to the injunction, Daniel Alterman, also an attorney with the LPLWG, stated that, “This is a victory for all Americans, for the constitution and for the 99%." Gideon Oliver, another attorney with the LPLWG reacted by saying, “The LPLWG has been fighting to ensure their right to free speech from day one of the occupation. The occupiers right to free speech is based in our most core legal principles and we will be here till the end to fight for those rights."