Legal Standing of OWS

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WNYC senior reporter Bob Hennelly and Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, discuss  the legal standing of the Occupy Wall Street protesters here in New York City as well as around the country.


Heidi Boghosian and Bob Hennelly

Comments [36]

Uh, Martin Chuzzletwit, because there are no jobs and that's part of the protest?

Nov. 16 2011 12:30 PM
The Truth from Becky

Uhh Robert, they used firehoses and German Shepherds in the 60's!

Nov. 16 2011 11:42 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

Right on, jgarbuz...on that last point.
Discourse needs to move beyond "income/wealth-inequality is bad", to why.

Nov. 16 2011 11:32 AM
john from office

Robert, move to china please. You are too delicate to be here. Cops are mean and they looked at me funny mommy.

Nov. 16 2011 11:29 AM
John from office

Reporters get in the way, how are the police to DO THEIR JOB, whne you have a camera crew between you and the target.

Nov. 16 2011 11:27 AM
Robert from NYC

Again, it's the police who have added the element of violence to this. Just look at the force they use on people who don't even resist and the expressions often on their faces as they use that force. They have expressions of hatred on their faces many of them. Thugs. There needs be a rethinking and retraining of how police operate in many cities in this country. They provoke violence so they can come in swinging. Check it out, I'm not wrong. We ignore it... uh, you all ignore it.

Nov. 16 2011 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Last year, Warren Buffet, third wealthiest man in America, made $64 million in income from his investments. That's the income of 1,000 average American families, but I don't begrudge him one penny. He did it honestly. So it is not the income disparity in of itself that is relevant. It is how that income is earned that matters. And how those with great wealth can skew the system in their favor.

Nov. 16 2011 11:26 AM
Salvatore Principato from Manhattan

Whatever the pretext being used to suppress the OWS is beside the point. I'm sure the unlawful incidents are much less at Zucotti Park than in the general population surely less the your average sport event or parade. And the heavy handed provocative tactics of the NYPD is inexcusable. They make up the rules as events develop and dare you to defy them. I was awaken by helicopters the night of the eviction and rode by bicycle
down there only to see phalanxes of police nastily telling me where i can & cannot go. Even at one point standing on a SIDEWALK on Broadway became illegal.

Nov. 16 2011 11:25 AM
Carolyn from Manhattan

Unfortunately Heidi Boghosian seems to have no idea what is going on in Zuccoti Park. It is wall to wall people and surrounded by police barricades and a steady stream of tourists. It's very difficult to enter the park if you wanted to. It's a real concrete jungle in that neighborhood and Zuccoti was one of the few places in those blocks where workers could eat lunch outside. Also, some local businesses are really being hurt. Perhaps if the demonstrations seemed more organized and focused and not like a scrappy encampment full of squatters who look like pigpen, it would be easier to be supportive. If the "demonstrators" really want jobs, better jobs, and or better pay, then they should get their act together a la Martin Luther King and his organization. Right now it looks like a bunch of disorganized, whining, spoiled, bottom feeders.

Nov. 16 2011 11:24 AM
Bob from new york

Brenden for mayor!

Nov. 16 2011 11:24 AM
Janet from Westchester

Mayor Bloomberg is a multibillionaire and is supporting his Wall St buddies and doesn't give a hoot about people who are out of work and losing their homes. I don't understand why the cops allow themselves to be turned into storm troupers beating up on peaceful protesters who are fighter for their rights as well as all the other 99 % ers. Put a uniform on a guy and give him a gun and he turns into a bully.

Nov. 16 2011 11:24 AM
bernie from bklyn

this caller from OWS(security guy) is the most rational representative from the movement that i've heard so far.
in other words, he doesn't sounds like a rich white guy w/ dreads

Nov. 16 2011 11:20 AM
Sonia from NYC

Re notice: The New York Times this morning reported that not even the police officers involved in the raid knew what was going to happen until the last minute. So there seems to have been a deliberate decision NOT to give notice.

Nov. 16 2011 11:19 AM
Marcus from NYC

why don't they just move to Tompkins Square?

Nov. 16 2011 11:18 AM
john from office

I was there for the first attempt to clean the park, because of the notice, it built up to a near riot. Would a riot, because of the notice, have been better?.

De escalation is nonsense when you are dealing with a violent person.

Nov. 16 2011 11:18 AM
MP from Brooklyn

The cops did what they were told to do. They are not thugs; they are working people.

Nov. 16 2011 11:16 AM
Robert from NYC

That's what they're doing now Chuzzlewit! Get it?

Nov. 16 2011 11:16 AM
MP from Brooklyn

Would it have been preferable to remove them at rush hour?

Nov. 16 2011 11:16 AM
Robert from NYC

The vicious way the police went in and handled the situation was plain wrong and I would BET it was illegal. They were violent and provocative, provocative intentionally to get the ows folks to strike back. Talk about THAT Brian. They acted as just what they are. The NYPD is loaded with thugs with a license to kill and that includes the biggest thug of them all Ray Kelly. The mayor is nothing but a little sissy-boy who hides behind these thugs. Not all cops are thugs, many are and would probably be on the other side of the law were they not cops. They give a bad name to the organization.

Nov. 16 2011 11:15 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

This caller/guest is deluded. No one could go in and use the park while the tents were set up! It was wall-to-wall tents and tarps, and in no way pleasant to use for non-OWS activities.

Why can't we dispell with a right and left party, and have a LOGIC party? I'm all for the sentiments expressed by OWS, and would contribute if it moved forward toward tangiable goals, but please! Lobbying for a tent city in the middle of a puny park in the middle of one of the most congested neighborhoods in the city? It defies logic.

Logic would also dictate that Bloomberg would actually have to spread the word to remove the tents with reasonable notice, and not rouse people at 1AM in the morning. That tactic was abhorrent, and has caused a riff over the wrong issues.

Nov. 16 2011 11:14 AM
Edward from NJ

Obviously, OWS can never admit this, but this is great for them. They get the "outrage" of being evicted, and an excellent excuse not to camp out 24/7 all Winter long.

Nov. 16 2011 11:14 AM

We really need to have a serious discussion about what the right to "peaceably assemble" really means. It seems most cities have decided that you have the right to assemble only as long as you don't inconvenience them. The right to assemble seems to be pretty worthless if you don't have anywhere to do it legally.

Nov. 16 2011 11:14 AM
Fishmael from NYC

I heartily support OWS. Getting the basic facts of pervasive income inequality into mainstream US consciousness is a major achievement, and so much more needs to be done.

However - if OWS allows the narrative to morph into "are tents legal or not", etc.? they will have lost their way. These issues may be important, but, they are not as important as the overall issues that OWS is trying to highlight. It's strategy - OWS needs to find many different ways to advance the publicizing of the facts and issues, and not become mired in this particular form of action

The vast majority of the country, who *do* resonate with the basic issues of OWS, will quickly lose interest if this becomes about legal procedures around tents and sleeping bags.

OWS, re-strategize!

Nov. 16 2011 11:13 AM
Joe from nearby

The mayor speaks with forked tongue. He pays lip service to freedom of speech, but then sets up a system clearly designed to have a chilling effect on those very rights.

He is the municipal equivalent of Bashar al-Assad.

Nov. 16 2011 11:13 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

Ordinances issued after the fact? And exactly what notice was given? And did Bloomberg ignore the initial injuction allowing OWS to return to the park and then go shop for another ruling?

Nov. 16 2011 11:13 AM
John from office

Ask how do you remove someone, who is unwilling to move, without force??

Nov. 16 2011 11:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Reporters had more freedom to report with bullets flying over their head in Libya than they did last night - trying to cover the raid.

Nov. 16 2011 11:12 AM
Jay F.

Places to sit?! Get real!

Nov. 16 2011 11:11 AM
Jay F.

The place was a sewer...

Nov. 16 2011 11:10 AM
MP from Brooklyn

"They did give notice, but . . ." - please.

Farrish's comment is the most coherent I have read yet from a participant.

Nov. 16 2011 11:10 AM
john from office

Brian, why not someone on the otherside of this legal argument.

Nov. 16 2011 11:09 AM
john from Office

I saw alot of druged out people and people who were not there for the protest, but for the food, shelter and vibe. Maybe this will focus the protest into a real movement, not a campground.

Judge Stallman is a great Justice, funny how case was not heard before Judge Billings, a very liberal Judge.

Nov. 16 2011 11:07 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

OWS = Woodstock 2011 minus Jimmy Hendrix and company :)

Nov. 16 2011 11:04 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Why don't the "activists" partying in these OWS delayed adolescence sleepover camps go out and help invigorate job creation.....or better yet, get jobs themselves?

Nov. 16 2011 10:58 AM
Joel from Westchester

"Do we need a centrist party?" asked Brian of William Cohen. Brian, what are you asking about?

We have an extreme right-wing party and a center-right party at this time in our history. Why shoe-horn in a right-center-right party between the two? What we need is a LEFT party that stands up for the 99%!

Nov. 16 2011 10:52 AM

I, along with my boyfriend, have been involved with OWS on a daily basis since day three. I think the rise of the tent city aspect of OWS made our lovely park a mess, housing opportunists who were sometimes violent, sometimes dealing drugs and frequently doing them. Some of my fellow activists loved the tents but many of us came to find them abhorrent. I hope/pray that Bloomberg comes to rue his clean-up, as he eliminated the element that was gradually alienating true activists and attracting the worst aspects of society. This new phase is clean, not as attractive to hangers-on and more focused than before. Let's work shifts through the winter and bring a new spring, as well as a Spring, to the the park and this nation.

Nov. 16 2011 10:28 AM

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