It appears that Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly are planning to forcibly evict the Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in the heart of Lower Manhattan. This is unlawful, undemocratic and risks silencing what may be an important voice.
Please call Mayor Bloomberg right away at 311 (If you are outside of NYC right now, call 212.639.9675 instead.) and tell him not to kick the protesters out of Zuccotti Park.
The reason I have been so impressed with the Occupy Wall Street movement so far is that, for the first time in my memory, Americans are talking about economic inequality. I do not agree with all of what is said and done at OWS. Indeed, neither do most of the protesters. But in a country where 1% of the population controls 42% of the wealth and 80% of us control only 7% of the wealth this is a conversation we need to have.
I also know that for many of our neighbors, the OWS protests are one more quality of life burden for a community that has borne too many over the last 10 years. I have spoken with many people at Occupy Wall Street and most are genuinely committed to being good neighbors. There remains more work to be done there – the drumming in particular is an issue. But this is not a reason to shut down political protests.
Lower Manhattan is a special community. Part of why we love it is its symbolic power. Let us celebrate that, and continue to work for justice.
Please call the Mayor at 311 or 212-639-9675 tonight. Thank you.
All the best,
P.S. – The Downtown Independent Democrats passed a resolution last week stating our neighborhood’s unique position on the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It reads:
Resolution from the Downtown Independent Democrats on the Occupy Wall Street Movement:
Downtown Independent Democrats is the oldest and largest progressive Democratic organization in Lower Manhattan and has represented New York City’s Financial District for 40 years. We have been committed to social justice and equality as well as to the general improvement of the quality of life of Lower Manhattan for that entire time.
In light of these two missions, the Downtown Independent Democrats:
• Shares the Occupy Wall Street Movement’s grievances on the growing and unsustainable economic inequality in the United States.
• Endorses Occupy Wall Street’s call for increased regulation and accountability for the financial services sector, including reinstatement of legislation similar to the Glass-Steagall Act. The DID recognizes that a robust, dynamic, stable and well regulated financial services sector is essential to the life of our neighborhood, our city and our country.
• Commends the OWS organizers for their outreach to community members on quality of life and noise concerns, while calling upon them to improve on this front especially in the area of drumming as well as to continue their engagement with our neighbors.
• Recognizes the NYPD’s difficult and important role in maintaining public safety and calls upon them to use maximum restraint when dealing with non-violent political protest.
The people – united – will never be defeated.