Not one to be outdone by her opponents in the 2013 mayoral race, City Council speaker Christine Quinn shared her take on Mayor Bloomberg’s OWS eviction today.
Ms. Quinn, who has positioned her campaign as a continuation of Mr. Bloomberg’s regime, called the reported police brutality and media blackout “unacceptable” and demanded protesters be let back into the park so long as they respect local residents and businesses. She also demanded the NYPD clarify the status of arrested council member Ydanis Rodriguez, still in custody at the time of writing.
Previously, Ms. Quinn has shared many New York politicians’ ambivalent attitude toward the Occupiers: she told businessmen last month that the city needed to strike “the right balance between people’s American right, and New York right, to protest” and “the right for people in a neighborhood to have sleep and space, and people to come to and from work.”
The speaker’s full statement is below:
“As I have said from the very beginning, we must balance the protesters’ First Amendment rights with the rights of the residents, workers, and businesses of Lower Manhattan. We must protect the protestors’ right to peaceful assembly and the local community’s right to a safe and secure neighborhood.
Today’s actions include reports of excessive force by the NYPD, and reports of infringement of the rights of the press. If these reports are true, these actions are unacceptable. The Council will seek answers to questions surrounding these reports and clarifying information regarding the arrest and treatment of Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
In a spirit of cooperation, we must work to ensure that the protesters are allowed back into Zuccotti Park as soon as possible and are allowed to exercise their right to protest while not impeding on the rights of others.”