A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: Occupy Wall Street

Is the Party Over?

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By LASIS Staff

Occupy Wall Street protestors were cleared out of Zuccotti park overnight, and now a judge has ruled that the protestors have to stay out.

We think we probably haven’t heard the last of them here in New York, but in the meantime, a look back at LASIS‘s legal discussion of the movement.

See here, here, and here, here.

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Mike Bloomberg, Esq.? Occupy Wall Street and Tents

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By Russell Smith

It is getting cold out there for Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The occupiers planned ahead, ordering ten 16-by-16 foot and ten 11-by-11 foot tents designed to withstand frigid temperatures and stave off hypothermia.

One person already feeling ill: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Since OWS began, he has had the unenviable task of trying to appear tough on crime while simultaneously sympathetic to free speech. As a billionaire himself, he does not want to poke a stick at the other 99 percent, so he says “there is no easy answer … but the right answer is to allow people to protest.”  Then he finds about the high cost of policing the protest, so he says that the occupiers “are trying to… take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have. We’re not going to have money to pay our municipal employees or anything else.”

Back in October, Mr. Bloomberg tried to draw a line in the sand. Referring to the small tents which were popping up in Zuccotti Park, Mr. Bloomberg declared that “[t]he Constitution doesn’t protect tents. It protects speech and assembly.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s impressive resume does not include law school, so it is not surprising that he seems to have misinterpreted the First Amendment. The Constitution does “protect tents”, and here’s why.   (more…)

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Wall Street Occupies Fordham

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By Drew Carroll

Sunday, October 16, 5:00 p.m.

As protestors continued to rage against corporate greed by occupying the streets of downtown New York, a few miles uptown an audience is buzzing in Fordham Law School’s McNally Theatre. A large projection screen has faded to black at the end of the iconic 1980’s film that gave a face to corporate greed, Wall Street. While most movie audiences would be filing towards the doors by now, this one sits in hushed anticipation. The evening’s main attraction is yet to come, as Thane Rosenbaum, a professor at Fordham University School of Law and director of the Forum Film Festival, assures the gathering that his guest of honor is only moments away. With longish, flowing light hair, Professor Rosenbaum projects the image of ringmaster, a learned version of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka.

Professor Rosenbaum directs our attention to the double doors across the room, from where we can now see the burly and imposing figure of Oliver Stone.

“Good movie,” he says, settling into his chair.

(more…)

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Could An Injured NYPD Officer Sue A Wall Street Protester?

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By Asher Hawkins

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Occupy Wall Street protests continue to be a source of interesting legal brainteasers. Here’s the latest example:

Ed Mullins, head of the union representing the New York City Police Department’s sergeants, has promised he will see to it that any protester (he prefers the term “professional agitator”) who engages in conduct that causes injury to any of his union’s members will face a lawsuit.

Can a police officer really file a civil suit for injuries sustained in the line of duty? The various news articles that reported on Mr. Mullins’ comments (this is the one from The Wall Street Journal) didn’t answer that question, so we decided to tackle it. (more…)

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A Law Student Discusses Occupy Wall Street (with VIDEO)

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Photo by Meghan Lalonde

By Meghan Lalonde

When the protests in lower Manhattan started in September most New Yorkers walked by and thought… well, most New Yorkers thought nothing about it at all, actually. Protests are a dime a dozen here. Then there were the first trickles of media coverage before the pepper spray incident, which was the NYPD’s greatest gift to the occupiers. It changed a local movement into a worldwide one as video of the incident was seen around the world.

And now, on Day 39 of the protest, hardly anyone is ignoring the protestors.   Not even me – an overworked and sleep-deprived law student.

New York Law School is just a few blocks north of Zuccotti Park where the occupation is headquartered and I frequently pass it on my bike on my way to and from school. Protesters have overrun the space with sleeping bags, signs, tables, pets, in addition to reporters and cameramen from every major news outlet under the sun. Last week the New York Times published an article discussing the nature of the park itself and how protesters are able to legally occupy the privately owned public space. I wondered if the protesters were following the legal debate about their rights to protest inside the park and on Saturday October 15, I packed my camera, got on my bike and rode over to the encampment between Broadway and Trinity Place to find out.

See VIDEO of reporter Meghan Lalonde interviewing protesters about the private v. public legal debate.   (more…)

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