Comments on Zuccotti Park

Since there have been several entries on this story today, all comments on it will be posted here.

Jonathan W. writes:

The issuing of this temporary restraining order was absolutely outrageous. First, in contravention of established court procedures, OWS’ attorneys bypassed the system where an emergency application is made to an administrative judge who then decides which judge will hear the motion. Instead, they went straight to this particular judge who basically rubber stamped the order that the OWS attorneys had already drawn up. The city was not given notice of the hearing, and thus was unable to respond. Further, it should be noted that in general, TROs can only be granted if (a) The party moving for it can show a likelihood of success on the merits and (b) that the party will be irreparably harmed if the TRO is not granted. Unless the version of the order online has been truncated, the attorneys did not even argue that the protesters would be irreparably harmed, or demonstrate that they were likely to win on the merits. The judge’s order makes a mockery of the judicial system. On her biography page, she proudly states that she worked as a lawyer for the ACLU for 25 years. In my opinion, she should have recused herself. Allowing this liberal anti-American judge to rule on this order is as outrageous as allowing an openly homosexual judge to hear the Proposition 8 case.

Ken Hechtman writes:

Here’s another thing I don’t get about the Occupy movement. To the extent they have defined objectives, those objectives are all federal jurisdiction. How much sense does it make deliberately to pick confrontations with municipal governments all over the country? Salesmen have a catch-phrase: “Never get into an argument with someone who doesn’t have the authority to say yes.” Same rules apply.

No city mayor can give the Occupy movement their ultimate demands even if he wanted to. The best any mayor can do is give them their interim demands—the ability to keep the campsite going. And there’s no payoff for a municipal politician to do that no matter how far left he is. Anarchists and Leninists are never going to show gratitude to a mainstream politician. And once a city mayor sanctions the campsite, he owns whatever happens in or near it. If there’s a heroin overdose (Vancouver) or a shooting (Burlington) or voters being kept awake at night or voters’ lawns getting walked on or anything, the mayor owns that.

In Montreal, a staffer with Project Montreal (the left-wing municipal opposition party) told me the city government was getting ready to evict the Occupy Montreal camp and there was a debate inside Project about letting the protest relocate up in the Plateau (a borough of the city controlled by Project). My nickel’s worth of free advice was don’t do it, for exactly the reasons I just explained. There’s no payoff to be had here, only headaches. As long as the protesters are downtown, they’re the mayor’s headache. Invite them into the Plateau and they become our headache.

Compare the Occupy fiasco to the Keystone XL pipeline campaign. The contrast couldn’t be sharper. The pipeline campaign had a single clear, specific and achievable goal. It focused all its attention and put all its pressure on a single target. They chose Obama personally as their target because a) he has the power to do what the environmentalists want and b) the environmentalists have something he wants so they have some leverage over him. And they won. They got what they came for.

Buck O. writes:

I have not really followed this, but I’m guessing that to most of these flea partiers, this was probably a long overdue relief. “Please don’t force me outta here, Br’er Bear!” I can’t imagine that all but the most hard-core really wanted to remain embedded in that collective filth and stench. Early on the effort to remove them would have been met with energetic well-rested resistence. Today, I’m betting that to most, it was sweet relief. Can you imagine how much more filthy and discusting that pit would have become. I bet that most of them broke out into a smile as they got some distance between them and the crowd.

A reader in England sent an e-mail about Zuccotti Park with this Dylan paraphrase in the subject line. As he points out, it’s as up to date as a Dylan paraphrase from 1965 can be:

You must leave now, take what you need you think will last/
But whatever you wish to keep you’d better get a court order fast.

A comment at
Reply 1—Posted by: planetgeo, 11/15/2011 5:16:38 AM

So, it seems that even the muddle-headed blue cities like New York, Oakland, Portland, and others have finally tired of their very expensive charade. Their little game of “look how noble these anti-capitalist protesters are” is finally over.

It will be interesting to see how Obama, Axelrod, and Little Debbie Washerwoman-Schulz will now portray their surrogate attack movement. “Well, OK, they were violent, filthy, costly to support, and dangerous to themselves and others … but we still support their high ideals???” No, I don’t think even Obama can pull off that kind of Vulcan mind trick.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

The “Occupy Wall Street” lawyers went judge shopping and found one Lucy Adams Billings, an uber liberal who agreed to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the clearing of Zuccotti Park. The mayor and the police ignored her order. In my opinion, the judge acted recklessly and unnecessarily as a hearing on the merits was scheduled only a few hours after she issued her TRO. No wonder everyone ignored her. She appears to have acted on her personal ideology alone. Had she done just a little legal research she would have discovered that The “Occupy Tuscon” lawyers tried the same maneuver in a U.S. District Court for Arizona and got turned down. The issues in that case were nearly identical to New York except the park in Tuscon was on public land as opposed to Zuccotti Park, which is privately owned but subject to public access by ordinance. If anything the case for a TRO in New York is much weaker since the First Amendment applies to governments not private parties. So who is Lucy Billings and how did she get on the bench in New York? As one can she from her bio, she’s a liberal-crusading activist. She got on the bench thanks to Mayor Giuliani who appointed her judge to the Criminal Court of New York in 1998 and then Civil Court judge in 1999. The very same Giuliani who posing as a conservative tried to run for president. He appointed her despite her having sued him as mayor over various issues. I can only wonder: is Mitt Romney another Giuliani?

LA replies:

I am not aware that Giuliani has ever called himself a conservative, particularly during his presidential run, but I could be wrong.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 15, 2011 03:25 PM | Send

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