Guy Benson

Very early this morning, the NYPD cleared Manhattan's Zuccotti Park of all protesters, tents, etc. -- some of whom had been encamped there for weeks on end.  The raid resulted in at least 70 arrests.  After a judge issued a temporary restraining order against New York City, everyone was forced to wait for a final ruling from a New York State judge.  The decision just came down; its result is long overdue:
 

Protestors will not be allowed to bring tents and overnight gear to Zuccotti Park, a Manhattan judge ruled today, dealing a huge blow to the Occupy Wall Street movement. With tensions simmering, demonstrators had spent the day surrounding the now-closed park near Wall Street as they waited for the judge's decision. Hours after the city forcibly evicted protestors, scrubbed down the park and closed it, Occupy Wall Street protests scattered across downtown Manhattan.

The city's plan to evict protesters after nearly two months early today resulted in the arrest of 200 protesters. The protest began Sept. 17 and many had been camped out at the park since then. Soon after the nighttime sweep, protesters went to a Manhattan judge, getting her to issue a temporary restraining order allowing them back inside. The city responded by closing the park.


Here's the ruling itself, which holds that the city's new restrictions place reasonable "time place and manner" limits on the scope of the protest.  Frankly, Mayor Bloomberg should have lowered this boom much, much earlier on in this process.  Bear in mind that these "protesters" have been squatting on private property (yes, Zuccotti Park is privately owned) for nearly two months.  Local residents and businesses have become completely fed up with the mess, unsanitary conditions, and multiple reported assaults, including several alleged rapes.  OWS will surely appeal the ruling, but one wonders if some participants are willing for democracy and the rule of law to run its course.  Some of its more radical elements have been itchin' for a fight, and this development might provide the perfect excuse to get violent -- either tonight or at Thursday's planned rally.  To wit, the city's complaint against OWS included the allegation that some protesters were stockpiling weapons (!), which doesn't bode well.  OccupyNJ's twitter account is already encouraging the international hacking group "anonymous" to "do work" on Judge Michael Stallman.  That sounds like a threat.
 
Two parting videos.  First up, beleagured Occupiers react to the glorious sweep this morning -- then, via Allahpundit, a stinker from Occupy Seattle (content warning!):
 

Pure class:



Indoor plumbing is so once percent.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography