CommunityMy FDL

0ccupyNewHaven and the 1st Amend. Another stay…

ONH has received another last minute stay from the 2nd Circuit Court, details are being worked out… . At 12 NOON the police put up tape barriers and called in the Public Works trucks and front end loaders.  At that time there was no word from Attorney Pattis ,they started to take apart the Peace Garden and then the loader’s bucket made it;s first pass on Mad Max’s art display….in a Tiananmen Square move  a occupier layed down in front of the front end loader and halted the process. Lots of emotion and activism built to a crescendo… as the group chanted Shame Shame. The Lawyer called minutes later and reported that there was a stay granted until April 17th. There were 2 arrests, one occupier who tried to retrieve a tent that had been dumped into a truck and the other … a Yale Grad School supporter from the School of Forestry who was trying to protect the Elm trees from the heavy equipment damage. There is a article at titled Eviction Halted at Occupy New Haven, which gives  a more than accurate account of the day of action. What transpired previous to the eviction set up the timeline for  Tuesday’s events. With Judge Kravitz decision of ending the Temporary Restraining Order on Monday 4/09 it set the stage for high noon on Tuesday…. the Police,the City, et al were programed to sweep through the camp and wipe the Green clean. The decision that the Judge handed had the implications that this could be taken further.   ‘ Similarly unavailing is the Defendants’ claim that the Plantiffs’ “occupation” of the Green through round the clock camping fails the test established by the Supreme Court in Spence v Washington,  418 US, 405, 410-11 (1974) (requiring an intent to convey a paticularized message” and a likelihood in the surrounding circumstances… that the message would be understood by those who understood it”.) In addition to misquoting Spence test, See Defs. Supp. Mem. [doc.#28] at 22, the City neglects Spences emphasis on context. See id. at 410(“[T]he context in which a symbol is used for the purpose of expression is important, for the context may give meaning to the symbol.”) One would have to have lived in a bubble for the past year to accept Defendants claim that Occupy Tents “could simply mean that the plantiffs enjoy camping”. Defs.’ Supp. Mem. of Law[doc.#28] at 23. The City’s eviction notice did not seem confused on this point when it congratulated the protestors’ committment to “economic justice” rather their love of the great outdoors.            For another perspective all you have to do is check out the front page!

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