When Mayor Bloomberg finally got around to evicting (for now) Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park, hizzoner appeared far more concerned about the rights of the occupiers than the rights of their embattled and law-abiding neighbors who have suffered greatly during the occupation.
As the Wall Street Journal mischievously notes in an editorial this morning:
The Zuccotti Park occupation lasted nearly nine weeks, across which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg conducted the longest nonstop rumination on the First Amendment since 1791.
The First Amendment, which establishes one of our cornerstone rights—free speech—doesn’t establish the sacred right to urinate on doorsteps, impede commerce in a time of economic downturn, or frighten the neighbors, not to mention play the drum all night.
But Bloomberg seemed more interested in justifying his reluctant move against Occupy Wall Street than upholding the rights of other citizens to go about their lives and conduct their businesses.
When the protesters chant “this area is ours,” somebody should inform them that it isn’t. Zucotti Park is privately-owned property, and I’d like to have heard a rousing defense of the rights of the owners of the park from Mayor Bloomberg.
It is unclear what is going to happen at the park because various legal efforts are underway to ensure they have the “right” to resume their occupation. But one thing is clear: they are not going to behave like the law-abiding citizens with whose rights they have interfered for more than two months.
As James Tarranto (who coined the wonderful term Obamaville to describe the shantytowns of protest) notes this morning:
The Obamavillians, who style themselves "the 99%," plan to retaliate by making the lives of ordinary New Yorkers more difficult. A 2:30 a.m. email from Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org urged recipients to "call 3-1-1 and demand that Mayor Bloomberg respect the protesters' First Amendment rights." The mayor does not answer calls to 311, a nonemergency city information line. The MoveOnsters are urging their supporters to harass people who are just doing their jobs answering the phones for the city.
Leaders of the so-called Occupy Wall Street movement are "vowing to wreak havoc on Thursday by shutting down Wall Street and the subways," the New York Post reports:
According to their Web site, the day will include "Mass, Non-violent Direct Action" to "Shut Down Wall Street" at 7 a.m., "Occupy the Subways" in all five boroughs at 3 p.m. and "Take the Square," referring to Foley Square, at 5 p.m.
Foley Square is best known as the site of the U.S. and New York County courthouses. The plan to target the subways shows the true colors of this so-called movement. It is not merely about class warfare but about sowing chaos and intimidating ordinary people.
Among the apparently intimidated: hizzoner.