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Judge Upholds New Rules Prohibiting the 'Occupation' of Zuccotti Park

Judge Michael Stallman of the Supreme Court of New York County, denied the petition of Occupy Wall Street Protestors to extend a temporary restraining order barring New York City and property owners Brookfield Properties from enforcing new park rules. These new rules prohibit "Camping and/or the erection of tents or other structures. Lying down on the ground, or lying down on benches ...The placement of tarps or sleeping bags or other covering on the property. Storage of placement of personal property on the ground, benches, sitting areas or
walkways which unreasonably interferes with the use of such areas by others."

In response to First Amendment arguments raised by the protestors, Judge Stallman concluded,

The movants have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion of the owner's reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access of others who might wish to use the space safely. Neither have the applicants shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the City's enforcement of law so as to promote public health and safety.

The New York Lawyers Guild, representing the protestors, contended that the 24-hour occupation itself-tents and all-is integral to the movement's message. Notwithstanding, Mayor Bloomberg has pledged to enforce the new rules when Zuccotti Park is reopened after its cleaning.

James Copland of PointofLaw and Director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute discussed the ruling on PBS NewsHour.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.