Things are a bit confusing at the moment. Apparently after Bloomberg ordered the park cleared, the tents removed and dozens of people arrested, OWS obtained a judge’s order allowing them to re-establish their camp in Zuccotti Park. As I write (around 9:50am Eastern time), there’s a livestream on FDL Dissenter of protesters apparently (?) preparing to return to the park. (The livestream is a bit overwhelmed with traffic at the moment.)
I suppose this was inevitable, but the inevitability of the gesture does not make Bloomberg less of a fucking asshole for ordering it. I’ll supply details when some major blog offers them.
AFTERTHOUGHT: I was planning to write a post about the Archimedes Palimpsest (see the book The Archimedes Codex, Reviel and Noel, Da Capo, 2007) but I think that will keep for a while.
UPDATE a few minutes later: oh, great. Here come the (black?) helicopters. As of yet, the reporter doesn’t know if they’re police or news.
ADDENDUM: the livestream reporter says the court order requires Bloomberg and the police to show cause why the demonstrators were or should be removed. That should take a while. Meanwhile, as I write, protesters are heading back to the park. What a circus!
UPDATE a few minutes later still: the group of protesters arrived at Zuccotti Park only to find that police still have it barricaded. Have police not been informed of the court order? Are they choosing to interpret it differently? Have they gone renegade and decided to block the park no matter what? We’ll know eventually, but the livestream reporter’s battery just ran out…
UPDATE around 10:30am Eastern: there’s another (different) livestream at the same URL as given above, but it’s very intermittent. If you haven’t already switched to monitoring one of the live sites, now might be a good time; I don’t have resources to give you anything else.
UPDATE around 11:45am: it’s getting interesting again… police are apparently refusing to acknowledge the court order to allow the protesters back into the park until they show cause why they should be evicted. At least one speaker (NOT a police officer) Kevin Gosztola of FDL said that this is being done on Bloomberg’s order. Maybe he’s shopping for a judge he likes better. Video coverage is regrettably intermittent.
UPDATE around noon Eastern time: some protester entered the park with an American flag. The police grabbed the flag from him and arrested him. The crowd chanted SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
UPDATE about 12:15pm Eastern: a bit more info on the court order. Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Park) is a POPS, a privately owned public space. Apparently, according to the POPS laws, the park must be open to the public 24 hours a day. They are reporting now that the hearing has taken place, but no word on the outcome the court order is being appealed. I was right: Bloomberg is judge-shopping.
UPDATE about 12:30pm Eastern: it’s… Ranting Asshole Time on the livestream! Sorry; I can’t take that. Bye now…
UPDATE about 12:50pm Eastern: yep… judge-shopping. Apparently the city managed to get a judge it wants on the case, and now there’s a hearing. It’s pretty clear that the First Amendment means absolutely nothing to these folks. Expect the eviction to be sustained.
UPDATE: about 2:00pm Eastern: latest rumor is that a decision will be announced in about an hour or less. Sorry, but I’ve got to take a break. Back later.
UPDATE about 4:15pm Eastern: despite all the confirmations, that news seems to be from a couple hours earlier, and there’s still no current info on whether protesters really will be let into the park again. Ya can’t trust anybody these days…
UPDATE about 4:50pm: CNN live is said to be reporting that the ruling is against Occupy. Free speech is dead, unless you have money like the 1 percent.
A couple of thoughts about the events of the morning. First, livestream news is a bit like Rossini’s assessment of Wagner’s music: it has great moments and terrible quarter hours. For about two minutes, it was exciting to feel almost like a participant in the events in NYC. After that, for city dwellers like me (even Houston counts as a city for these purposes), traipsing down a street in an urban center to a particular destination is tedious, something to be completed and forgotten as soon as possible. Those of you who, like me, support but are not actually participating in an #Occupy movement, need to appreciate not only the great moments in support of the rights of assembly and petition, but also the terrible quarter hours (and hours, and hours…) that are every bit as much part of the protesters’ contribution to the cause. They also serve, who only WALK and WAIT…