The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal.com’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.
Better Late Than Never
After loitering for nearly two months, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally took action overnight, clearing out so-called protesters who had turned Zuccotti Park, a privately owned, publicly accessible plaza in a residential neighborhood of downtown Manhattan, into a squalid [place]. “Health and safety conditions became intolerable,” the New York Times quotes the mayor as saying–though why it took him two months to figure that out is left unexplained.
Early this morning, former ACLU staffer Lucy Billings, now a New York Supreme Court justice (the Empire State’s odd designation for a trial judge), issued a temporary restraining order against the cleanup. According to the Times’s account, Billings’s order had the opposite effect: Bloomberg said police had begun allowing [protesters] to return to the park, sans tents and tarps, but they closed the park altogether after receiving word of the injunction.
The [protesters], who style themselves “the 99%,” plan to retaliate by making the lives of ordinary New Yorkers more difficult. A 2:30 a.m. email from Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org urged recipients to “call 3-1-1 and demand that Mayor Bloomberg respect the protesters’ First Amendment rights.” The mayor does not answer calls to 311, a non-emergency city information line. The MoveOnsters are urging their supporters to harass people who are just doing their jobs answering the phones for the city.
Leaders of the so-called Occupy Wall Street movement are “vowing to wreak havoc on Thursday by shutting down Wall Street and the subways,” the New York Post reports:
According to their Web site, the day will include “Mass, Non-violent Direct Action” to “Shut Down Wall Street” at 7 a.m., “Occupy the Subways” in all five boroughs at 3 p.m. and “Take the Square,” referring to Foley Square, at 5 p.m.
Foley Square is best known as the site of the U.S. and New York County courthouses. The plan to target the subways shows the true colors of this so-called movement. It is not merely about class warfare but about sowing chaos and intimidating ordinary people.
The Wall Street Journal reports that there were intimations of violence from some of the [protesters]:
As police dealt with holdouts, hundreds of others scattered into the streets of Lower Manhattan, setting off marches and skirmishes with police that extended as far north as Union Square. Helicopters hovered low and shone spotlights on marchers who filled normally quiet streets with chanting.
Some appeared to provoke confrontation, while others went out of their way to avoid it. As one group marched through SoHo and NoHo, some knocked over trash cans and dumped them on the street. Others came behind them, righted the cans and put trash back in them.
One part of the group chanted “We are peaceful.” Others responded with chants of “We’re not peaceful.”
What do you call a political movement that’s half peaceful and half violent? A violent political movement.
Other cities have seen even worse violence. “One police officer was slashed by a razor and another had his uniform torn and cheek cut in a clash with ‘Occupy San Francisco’ protesters Saturday afternoon,” NewsCore reports. A University of California press release announces that the Board of Regents was forced to cancel a meeting, scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, because of reports “that rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting.”
The Portland (Ore.) Police Bureau cites “reports that nails have been hammered into wood for weapons.” ABC News reports another Obamaville rape, this one in Philadelphia. In Denver, HotAir.com reports, thugs invaded a hotel where conservative bloggers were holding a conference. The Orlando Sentinel reports that two Obamavillians there had a knife fight over a drum circle.
Up in Canada, [protesters] are threatening cyber war, the Toronto Star reports:
Mayor Rob Ford still wants the Occupy Toronto protesters out of St. James Park despite an ultimatum issued via YouTube video by a group claiming to be hacker-activists Anonymous.
“You have said that by next week the occupiers shall be removed. And we say by next week if you do not change your mind, you shall be removed from the Internet,” proclaims the video’s computer-generated voice, typical of messages from the loosely organized collective of hackers.
Even Donna Schaper, a hard-left clergyman whose sympathies are with the Obamavillians, is forced to acknowledge–though her awkward passive construction is telling–that “some sexual violence was happening” at Zuccotti Park. …
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”