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« Pastor, you may want to rephrase | Main | Disorderly »

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Janelle Dvorak

Just can't resist an opportunity to break out the batons, can they?

Cleveland Bob

Thanks from this otherwise occupied reader for attending OWS and giving us an excellent sense of events on the ground, Lance. You're doing a yeoman's job that is much appreciated by this American.

Ken Muldrew
"Wall Street is off-limits for marches and protests and large gatherings of any kind and has been since 9/11."

Whaaat? Is that a Patriot Act remnant? Where else has the 1st amendment been suspended since 9/11?

actor212

I do know that there have been barricades up on Wall Street since 9/11. You can see them in Moore's movie "Capitalism: A Love Story" (and he filmed mostly on weekends, and they're still up). I don't know that they prevent people from using the entire sidewalk, however.

Todd B.

Lance

From a recent Counterpunch post by Pam Martens:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/10/financial-giants-put-new-york-city-cops-on-their-payroll/

"On September 8, 2004, Robert Britz, then President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange, testified as follows to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services:

“…we have implemented new hiring standards requiring former law enforcement or military backgrounds for the security staff…We have established a 24-hour NYPD Paid Detail monitoring the perimeter of the data centers…We have implemented traffic control and vehicle screening at the checkpoints. We have installed fixed protective planters and movable vehicle barriers.”

Military backgrounds; paid NYPD 24-7; checkpoints; vehicle barriers? It might be insightful to recall that the New York Stock Exchange originally traded stocks with a handshake under a Buttonwood tree in the open air on Wall Street.

In his testimony, the NYSE executive Britz states that “we” did this or that while describing functions that clearly belong to the City of New York. The New York Stock Exchange at that time had not yet gone public and was owned by those who had purchased seats on the exchange – primarily, the largest firms on Wall Street. Did the NYSE simply give itself police powers to barricade streets and set up checkpoints with rented cops? How about clubbing protesters on the sidewalk?

Just six months before NYSE executive Britz’ testimony to a congressional committee, his organization was being sued in the Supreme Court of New York County for illegally taking over public streets with no authority to do so. This action had crippled the business of a parking garage, Wall Street Garage Parking Corp., the plaintiff in the case. Judge Walter Tolub said in his opinion that

“…a private entity, the New York Stock Exchange, has assumed responsibility for the patrol and maintenance of truck blockades located at seven intersections surrounding the NYSE…no formal authority appears to have been given to the NYSE to maintain these blockades and/or conduct security searches at these checkpoints…the closure of these intersections by the NYSE is tantamount to a public nuisance…The NYSE has yet to provide this court with any evidence of an agreement giving them the authority to maintain the security perimeter and/or conduct the searches that their private security force conducts daily. As such, the NYSE’s actions are unlawful and may be enjoined as they violate plaintiff’s civil rights as a private citizen.”

The case was appealed, the ruling overturned, and sent back to the same Judge who had no choice but to dismiss the case on the appellate ruling that the plaintiff had suffered no greater harm than the community at large. Does everyone in lower Manhattan own a parking garage that is losing its customer base because the roads are blocked to the garage?"

The rest of the article is interesting too. Great posts on OWS. Thanks!

Lance Mannion

Todd, thanks for the link. This NYPD-Wall Street chumminess is curious and worrisome.

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