Occupy Wall Street sent out an emergency text message notifying its supporters that eviction was in progress shortly before 1:00 a.m. As soon as the eviction began the National Lawyers Guild, a non-profit organization whose members are known by the green hats their observers wear to marches and rallies, set out to secure a restraining order against the police from the State Supreme Court.
“There’s a procedure for getting the attention of a judge in the middle of the night,” Gideon Oliver, a Guild lawyer, told The Observer.
While police dismantled the shelters of Zuccotti park and arrested protesters, the Guild lawyers worked out the logistics of the order prohibiting eviction of protesters from the park, which Justice Lucy Billings signed at 6:30 a.m. The Guild served the order to the defendants, including the City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Brookfield Properties, at 7:50 a.m.
“The police don’t seem to have responded to it yet,” said Mr. Oliver, who said he was going down to Zuccotti to again serve the order to police.
Its mandate might be short-lived, depending on the outcome of a hearing scheduled for 11:30 at the County court house at 71 Thomas Street today.
Mayor Bloomberg has said that protesters can return to the park, sort of: “Protesters – and the general public – are welcome there to exercise their First Amendment rights, and otherwise enjoy the park, but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps and, going forward, must follow all park rules,” he said in a statement this morning.
Meanwhile the protesters are on their way.