At last, an Occupy protest where the NYPD didn't arrest anyone.
Citing a ruling by a federal judge that allows protesters to sleep on sidewalks, The New York Times reports that more than two dozen people successfully held sleep-outs outside two banks near Union Square early Friday morning.
Since being evicted from Zuccotti Park in November, Occupy has moved operations North to Union Square where nightly the NYPD has cleared them out of the park to prevent another encampment. This has resulted in some heated confrontations and arrests.
Early Friday morning however, The Times reports protesters peacefully "spread out pieces of cardboard and wrapped themselves in Mylar blankets, sheets of foam and bright colored sleeping bags" outside a Bank of America on 14th Street at University Place, and outside a Citi Bank on Broadway and 14th.
Fliers passed out by protesters read, "It is our First Amendment right to sleep on the street!" and they chanted, "Lets go to sleep!"
The NYPD let them to just that.
Meanwhile as the weather becomes warmer, protesters are busy planning an "American Spring" with more protests and marches, namely the May Day protest. From The Village Voice:
But Occupy Wall Street's May Day organizers still say the day will be the single biggest action the movement has mounted yet. They're working with the May Day Coalition, whose massive 2006 Day Without Immigrants rally effectively revived the observation of May Day in New York. Major unions are on board as well: the Transit Workers Union, the Service Employees International Union, and New Jersey's Industrial Union Council.
"We've been really clear about using language that leaves a lot of different ways for people to take part," says Chris Longenecker, one of the organizers. "It's a 'Day Without the 99 Percent,' a 'Day of Economic Noncompliance.' That can mean not going to work, not buying anything, finding other ways to step out of the system."
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