Fellow House Progressive Caucus member Raúl Grijalva shockingly shares his grief over the removal of the lice-ridden squatters.
(The Hill) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) decision to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from a Lower Manhattan park is a blow to free speech, several House Democrats said.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, warned that in preventing protesters from camping out in Zuccotti Park, the city has “effectively removed [the protesters’] ability to be there 24/7.”
“The concern to me was that the occupiers can stay there but cannot set up permanent location, which kind of begs the question of, ‘Are they gonna have a daytime presence and then be gone [at night]?’
“I wish there would have been something done to accommodate the ability for them to stay there for the duration.”
While a few Democrats acknowledged that Bloomberg had a responsibility to ensure the safety and health of those in the park, others offered support for the demonstrators and concern that the mayor was going too far.
“I’m afraid that what the mayor says is temporary may tend to be permanent as they put up more restrictions,” said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). “I’m very cautious [because] I’m very supportive of [the protesters], and if the city doesn’t keep its word [I’ll] have a lot more [to say].”