The New York Civil Liberties Union has taken a critical posture toward Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD following their decision to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park for cleaning and maintenance tomorrow morning. The plan sets up a possible standoff between police and demonstrators, who have declared their intention to remain in the park and clean it themselves.
NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman released a statement to the press today, which said:
If the city is drawing a line in the sand over cleaning the park and refuses to accept the reasonable offers by protesters to do a clean up, then the recent statements by the mayor and police commissioner about protecting the right to protest were disingenuous.
The city must not use the clean up as a pretext for mass arrests. To do so would be a violation of the spirit of the First Amendment and the spirit of dissent.