Bloomberg: First Amendment Doesn’t Apply To Wall St Protesters’ Tents
(PRISON PLANET) After failing to remove occupy Wall Street protesters last week in order to close Zuccotti Park and “carry out cleaning”, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued another thinly veiled warning to those still present and protesting.
During a Press conference last night, Bloomberg asserted that “the Constitution doesn’t protect tents — it protects speech and assembly.”
“I’m 100 percent in favor of protecting — 1,000 percent in favor — of giving people rights to say things,” Bloomberg told those in attendance.
“…but also we have to protect those who don’t want to say anything,” he added.
“There are places where I think it’s appropriate to express yourself and then there are other places that are appropriate to set up a tent city, and they don’t necessarily have to be one and the same.” The mayor told reporters.
Earlier in the month, Bloomberg told the Wall Street Journal that protests would be allowed to continue indefinitely as long as participants obeyed the law.
“The bottom line is – people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” he said. “If they break the laws, then, we’re going to do what we’re supposed to do: enforce the laws.”
Despite this, Bloomberg has criticized the protesters, accusing them of “trying to destroy the jobs of working people.”
“Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic.” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio address.
“And if you focus for example on driving the banks out of New York City, you know those are our jobs … You can’t have it both ways: If you want jobs you got to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people.”
“The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people is unproductive,” he said.
“We are trying to deal with this is a way that doesn’t make the problem grow and protects everybody’s rights… we’re trying to let this — not ‘play out,’ that isn’t quite the right word, but let them express themselves.” Bloomberg added.
When asked by protesters if they could have a sound permit to use amplified devices in and around Zucotti Park, he dismissed the notion out of hand:
In a radio interview earlier this week, Bloomberg said that it was pressure from “many elected officials” that prevented Brookfield Properties from removing Occupy Wall Street protesters to clean Zuccotti Park:
According to a Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday, two out of every three New Yorkers support the protests. Even higher numbers, 72 percent to 24 percent, said law-abiding demonstrators should be able to remain in the area as long as they want.