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Letter Writing Friday – Occupy Wall Street

Posted in Editorials on October 14th, 2011

I have been following the Occupy Wall Street protests with great interests. Like many on the left, at first I wasn’t sure what I thought – but every day that they stayed, I was more captivated. I haven’t been there in person yet. Most of my free time in these past few months has been spent volunteering for a campaign for a local election on Long Island. I would like to visit after election day. But like many Americans, I worry about the threat to my day job if I were to be arrested.

Last night, I went to sleep after reading the news that Mayor Bloomberg had decided that this morning at 6AM he would force the protesters from the park, for cleaning. This was exactly how Los Indignatos were forced from their protest in Barcelona, while Adam and I were visiting in May. When the protesters tried to return, they were beaten with clubs by the police. I worried about something similar happening in New York.

This morning, however, brought good news. Mayor Bloomberg has backed down. I opened my email and revised the message I had started to write to my City Councilman, Mark Weprin last night, and sent it.

This morning I was very relieved to hear that Mayor Bloomberg decided not to remove the protesters from Zuccotti Park. I am writing this email to urge you to do everything you can to support New Yorkers’ First Amendment Rights. Our city is made great by the diversity of people who live here, and that includes differences in politics. I am proud to live in a place where the Occupy Wall Street Protests are taking place, and where the right to peaceful protest is respected by the government.

I sent a similar email to Mayor Bloomberg, and included a reference to his inspiring speech defending Park 51 last year where he claimed to champion diversity and freedom. Here’s hoping he will continue to be that Mayor and not the misguided one he was last night.

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