Pittsburgh, PA—(ENEWSPF)—December 21, 2011. At 9:00 am, Occupy Pittsburgh will picket for First Amendment Rights to tell BNY Mellon “You can’t evict an idea.” The demonstration will take place outside of the City-County building where a status conference is scheduled for Thursday, December 22 at 9:30 am with The Honorable Judge Christine Ward. The status conference will determine dates for hearings in the ongoing legal dispute between Occupy Pittsburgh and BNY Mellon.
The Occupy Pittsburgh Legal Working Group is going to defend our right to stay in People’s Park for as long as possible while proceeding in a way which also puts BNY Mellon on trial. Out of respect for the diversity of opinions within the Occupy Pittsburgh community, the Occupy Pittsburgh Legal Working Group will explore multiple strategies to accomplish these goals.
The Legal Working Group feels as though they are in an excellent position to defend Occupy Pittsburgh’s legal right to remain in People’s Park. By initiating legal proceedings against Occupy Pittsburgh, a peaceful nonviolent protest movement that has occupied People’s Park for two months without incident or complaint, BNY Mellon continues to demonstrate why People’s Park was chosen as the encampment site.
BNY has been accused of numerous criminal and fraudulent actions, consequently, they do not have the moral or ethical right to seek equitable relief from the court system. BNY Mellon’s hands are far from clean. Recent lawsuits brought against them include a lawsuit for negligent behavior regarding Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme as well as several pending suits regarding fraudulent behavior surrounding BNY Mellon’s mishandling of public pension funds.
Furthermore, while BNY Mellon is attempting to illegally restrict the public’s right to access a public park for the winter, Occupy Pittsburgh continues to improve and increase the use of People’s Park by the general public. In addition to being built with public tax money through tax increment financing (TIF), under Pittsburgh’s Urban Open Space ordinance, People’s Park is required to be open to the public without restriction. Occupy Pittsburgh’s presence at People’s Park has greatly increased the public’s use of this land by providing a public forum for citizens to discuss ideas and participate in political demonstrations.
Join us for the picket, which will conclude with a brief press conference at 10:00 am.