Since the NYPD crackdown and eviction of the Occupy Wall Street Movement overnight (Twitter), the web has been blowing up with Tweets and Facebook posts about Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD, etc. etc. etc. One of the common themes in these posts is the First Amendment. Interesting... OWS protesters claim they have a right to take over someone's private property.
The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." That's it. Where in the First Amendment does it say that trespassing on private property is legal?
I guess that brings up another point. What is Zuccotti Park? It's time to settle this. Zuccotti Park is privately owned. That needs to be known above all things. It is owned by a company called Brookfield Office Properties. Honestly, who cares who it's owned by? It is private. Through the various twisting of laws and regulations it is a open to the public and is not subject to the citywide curfew on city-owned parks.
According to an article in the New York Times:
"Brookfield Office Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, recently posted new rules against camping, lying on the ground or benches, and using sleeping bags, but up until now those rules have not been enforced.
Enforcement would fall to the building’s management company, Professor Kayden said, but if park users refuse to comply, the management may call on the Police Department for help, as it has in an effort to clean out the park."
Yes, as LME has posted on Twitter: it is private. As with any private property, the owner can do with it as he/she sees fit. If I don't want someone in my front yard I can call the police to have them removed. If Brookfield Office Properties does not want protesters in its spaces, and these protesters do not comply with the property owner's regulations, Brookfield Office Properties can utilize the police to remove the protesters. I doubt OWS protesters would stand for people taking over their living rooms, front yards, etc., so why do they think they have the "right" to do the same to someone else's private property? Any thoughts?