NYC Council OWS Letter To Mayor Bloomberg by CelesteKatz

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									                                           THE COUNCIL
                                       THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

We are writing to appeal to you not to enforce new rules at Liberty Plaza that would effectively evict the
Occupy Wall Street protest. Please respect the deep traditions of free speech and right of assembly that
make this a great, free, diverse, and opinionated city and nation. While we do not all necessarily agree with
their point-of-view, we support their right to be there, and we feel strongly that it would be a mistake for
the City of New York to evict them.

We agree that it makes sense to clean Zucotti Park, and to develop concrete practices to address the serious
concerns of the lower Manhattan neighborhood. We were pleased to learn that discussions have taken
place between local elected officials, representatives of Manhattan Community Board 1 and Occupy Wall
Street toward a good neighbor agreement. We support such an agreement to improve conditions for
residents, area schools, and local businesses and we ask that you support and enforce it.

When you announced yesterday that the park would be cleaned, you indicated that protestors would be
allowed to return, suggesting to the public and the protestors that the Occupy Wall Street protest would be
allowed to continue. The new rules you are enforcing, however – in particular the prohibition on sleeping
bags and gear – is an eviction notice and potentially an unconstitutional closing of a forum to silence free

The willingness of the protestors to sleep out overnight, and many of the temporary elements they have
established – for example, the communications center and library – are fundamental expressive elements of
the Occupy Wall Street protest. By enforcing new rules that eliminate these, you are abridging their rights
of assembly and free speech.

These traditions of free speech, public assembly, and public protest are a deep part of our American
tradition, honored best of all in the civic spaces of New York City. Whether you agree or disagree with
what they are saying – and we are mixed in our opinions – we believe that it would be a harmful disservice
to these democratic traditions to evict them.

Please reconsider the enforcement of these new rules, and work with the community board, local elected
officials, and the protestors on regulations that address community concerns, but allow the protestors to


Council Member Brad Lander            Council Member Letitia James

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer         Council Member Daniel Dromm
Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito          Council Member Stephen Levin

Council Member Annabel Palma                  Council Member Gale Brewer

Council Member Rosie Mendez            Council Member Daniel Garodnick

Council Member Mathieu Eugene          Council Member Jumaane Williams

Council Member James Sanders Jr.

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