Join the PCJF in Court in New York on October 4th, 2016. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has scheduled oral argument in the class action filed over the mass arrests of 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge during Occupy Wall Street, Garcia et al. v Bloomberg, et al. for October 4, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
The Court is located at 40 Centre Street (40 Foley Square), New York, NY 10007. Bring ID. We advise showing up 30-60 minutes early to allow time to get through security. Travel information can be found here.
On October 1st, 2011 the NYPD engaged in one of the largest mass civil rights violation in NYC history, trapping and arresting 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge who were peacefully engaged in First Amendment activities as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Those suddenly arrested without warning included teachers, health care workers, students, parents of small children, tourists and many others. The mass arrest decision came from the highest command staff, ordered by then-Chief of Department Joseph Esposito after consultation with then-Commissioner Kelly. There were the first days of the Occupy Movement and the police were employing super-aggressive, unconstitutional tactics against this new, promising and peaceful social justice movement.
The police escorted and led the peaceful march from Zuccotti Park through the city and onto the roadway of the Bridge. Once having led and escorted hundreds of protesters to enter the vehicular roadway of the Bridge, the police suddenly trapped and mass arrested those present without warning, notice or opportunity to comply with any order.
Despite running for office promising reform from the Bloomberg/Kelly policing model for First Amendment activity, Mayor De Blasio has doubled down on Mayor Bloomberg’s position seeking to immunize and insulate the NYPD and all its officers and command from any accountability for these mass violations of free speech. His legal position, if left unchallenged, puts all those who peacefully participate in demonstrations and comply with all police directives at risk of suddenly being arrested and jailed without any notice. This not only threatens and chills First Amendment activity, but places New York City squarely in legal conflict with every other jurisdiction that has visited this issue.
For five years the PCJF has persisted in defending the fundamental constitutional rights at stake seeking to have the courts recognize this sweeping mass civil rights violation. We will appear before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to argue why the plaintiffs should be allowed to proceed in this case.
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Partnership for Civil Justice Fund