The protests this weekend on Wall Street have led to an NYPD blockade of much of the NYSE immediate area, leaving residents unable to freely walk the streets without having to pass through illegal NYPD checkpoints and show ID and proof of residence, and discouraging NYC tourists from visiting the historic area. The New York Times writes in Wall Street Protest Begins, With Demonstrators Blocked:
[T]he demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival. By 10 a.m., metal barricades manned by police officers ringed the blocks of Wall Street between Broadway and William Street to the east. (In a statement, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman said, “A protest area was established on Broad Street at Exchange Street, next to the stock exchange, but protesters elected not to use it.”)
The area blocked off by the police is approximately all of Wall Street from Broadway to William:
I am personally a bit irritated at the NYPD for stepping all over the 1st Amendment, which grants protesters the right to peaceful assembly:
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.
The police barricades make it annoying to come and go on Wall Street; having 700-1200 protesters would crowd things as well, so it’s six of one half a dozen of the other. The only thing about the latter scenario is that I would able to go home feeling proud that Americans are standing up for their rights, rather than feeling like that the police state is already upon us and there’s nothing we can do about it.
I spoke to one of the police offers last night and asked him if the police action was constitutional. He asked if wanted “protesters breaking things and wrecking your home.” I said I didn’t, but they had the right to come protest, at which point the officer said it wasn’t worth his time talking to a wiseass. Oh well….
|This entry was posted on Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 1:36 pm and is tagged with police barricades, york stock exchange, redress of grievances, protest area, new york stock exchange, new york stock, street protest, chief spokesman, latter scenario, establishment of religion, free exercise, exchange street, peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, police action, target, demonstrators, police state, half a dozen, checkpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.|