Caitlin Thompson, Executive Editor
Caitlin Thompson is WNYC.org's executive editor.
In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, State Speaker Shelly Silver says he and the other elected officials who represent the part of New York City where Occupy Wall Street protesters have formed an encampment at Zucotti park are supportive of the movement and asks that the "city work with residents and businesses to remove the excessive number of barricades." Read the whole letter after the jump.
New York, N.Y. 10007
Dear Mr. Mayor:
As the elected officials who represent Lower Manhattan, we are writing to you regarding the
“Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) protesters currently encamped at Zuccotti Park. First, we want to once again express our full support for the protestors’ First Amendment rights to speak and to assemble in Zuccotti Park. We sympathize with the movement’s message and we feel it is important that their voices be heard.
At the same time, some of the protesters, and others who have opportunistically joined the
crowd for unrelated reasons, have created serious quality-of-life concerns for residents of the immediate area. Members of the OWS group have worked with Community Board One to establish a “Good Neighbor Policy” that addresses these issues. Despite everyone’s best efforts, this policy has proven difficult to enforce.
Therefore, we are asking that the city enforce laws prohibiting the excessive noise from
drumming, which has disturbed neighbors day and night, as well as those prohibiting public
urination on our streets, buildings and sidewalks. We also ask that the city work with residents and businesses to remove the excessive number of barricades, which are making movement within this area extremely difficult and inconvenient. It is important that these quality-of-life concerns are addressed in an effective and thoughtful manner by the city so that they do not keep recurring.
Once again, we are sympathetic to the message of those who are protesting in Lower
Manhattan. They have contributed positively to the dialogue we are having in this state and this country over how to address our struggling economy, and it is our responsibility to protect their First Amendment rights. We are equally committed to protecting the rights of those who live in Lower Manhattan and who are entitled to go about their daily lives in peace.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver
Senator Daniel Squadron
Council Member Margaret Chin