[UPDATE: We're keeping an eye out for the eviction of Occupy New Haven; a live stream from one of the occupiers is below. Please take a moment to make a phone call in defense of Occupy New Haven, and if you live in the area, please go down to show solidarity and bare witness to their eviction. More information on the situation at Occupy New Haven below. --BS
Update II: A court has issued a preliminary injunction against any eviction until a hearing can be held, likely in about two weeks. So Occupy New Haven dodged a bullet today. Thanks to everyone for their calls and support!]
Live streaming by Ustream
The New Haven aristocracy is threatening to evict Occupy New Haven at noon Wednesday.
Occupy New Haven is located on the New Haven Green: a public commons administrated by a group of five ‘proprietors’ who are now demanding Occupy New Haven vacate the Green so that ‘others’ may use it.
Ironically, the elite and undemocratic body that has overseen the parks since the 1800′s is headed by Yale Law professor Drew S. Days III: a lifelong civil rights activist, a former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and a current staff member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Sadly, Professor Days has chosen to use his power and prestige to suppress the very kinds of free speech one would assume he supports given his resume. This stunning convergence of hypocrisy and cronyism is threatening the existence of Occupy New Haven, and we need to speak out in their defense. Can you call the Prof. Days and New Haven City officials and demand they stop the eviction of Occupy New Haven?
Do the New Haven elite, backed by the muscle of city officials, really have in mind the best interests of those who wish to use the Green? Or is this yet another veiled attempt to squash a vibrant protest movement right at the heart of one of the biggest training grounds for the future 1%?
The Proprietors of the Green also include Albertus Magnus College President Julia McNamara, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Bond-Arterton, and Anne Calabresi – a woman who once protested George W. Bush on the Yale president’s lawn.
A civil rights activist, a federal judge, a protester and the president of a liberal arts college: the fact that individuals with these backgrounds have decided that free speech has a five month expiration date is troubling to say the least.
Occupy New Haven has only occupied a portion of the park and has been respectful of anyone wishing to use it, which is why the claim that they must vacate so it can be “cleaned up and restored for use by others who wish to enjoy [it]” is confusing. Perhaps more telling is how the notice ends:
“Both the City of New Haven and the Proprietors of the Green appreciate the dedication to the cause of economic justice, and we wish you well as you move forward elsewhere.”
In other words: you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
Occupy New Haven has sustained an active presence in their community through the winter. They deserve our help in fighting their eviction.
Thank you for standing up for Occupy New Haven. If you live near the New Haven Green, please consider dropping by to show solidarity with the protesters and bare witness to their eviction.