Photo: Josh Harkinson
Judge Michael Stallman has handed down his decision on Occupy Wall Street’s move to force the city to allow protesters to remain in Zuccotti Park with their gear.In short: He said “no.”
Here’s the most important part of his decision, which you can read here:
The Court is mindful of the Movants’ First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly. However…even protected speech is not equally permissible in all places and at all times…Here, movants have not demonstrated that the rules adopted by the owners of the property, concededly after demonstrations began, are not reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions permitted under the First Amendment…
Also in the decision:
“…the movants have not demonstrated that they have a first amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion of the owners reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access of others who might wish to use the space safely.”
Here are some more particulars about the hearing. Occupy Wall Street wasn’t the only group being represented in the motion. The United Transit Workers, The New York Communities Exchange, and The Working Families Party, also signed on as plaintiffs.
It should also be noted that Occupy Wall Street’s lawyers have 15 days to reply to this decision. So this may not be the end of this debate. Meanwhile, the protesters can still enter the park without their gear if they do so peacefully.
According to our photographer, Daniel Goodman, on the ground, the cops are telling the protesters that they can go in via mic check, and have set up two checkpoints of entrance for them. The crowd is moving that way, but we still don’t know what they’ll do for the night.
The New York Civil Liberties Union is reporting that one person has been arrested. Also, the cops are checking large bags as protesters enter the park.
Either way, though, this may not be the end of the world for the protesters. Here’s why: What WOULD Happen If Occupy Wall Street Let Go Of The Park>>