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Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Brought To Bloomberg's Neighborhood

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TWC News: Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Brought To Bloomberg's Neighborhood
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Several hundred Occupy Wall Street protestors on Sunday evening were determined to continue a demonstration near Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Upper East Side home into Monday afternoon.

The "Occupy Bloomberg's Mansion Drum Circle Protest And Love-In Art Show" was originally planned to be held right outside the mayor's townhouse, but when demonstrators arrived around 2 p.m. Sunday, police had blocked access to 79th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

The protesters took their musical instruments and colorful signs to the outskirts of Central Park, and while they played festive music, they said they had a serious message about Bloomberg limiting New Yorkers' rights.

"I'm actually a pretty staunch capitalist, but to be honest with you, when Bloomberg moved to have the police arrest all the Occupy Wall Street people, I was fed up, that's enough," said one protester holding an "Impeach Bloomberg" sign. "I mean, that should not be going on in the United States of America."

"Bloomberg is not respecting our First Amendment rights nor yours," said another protester. "He's blocking access to the press, arresting journalists."

"All New Yorkers have had the wool pulled over their eyes by Bloomberg and his billionaires for way too long," said a third protester.

Some Upper East Side residents were not pleased at the possibility of the boisterous demonstration lasting well into the night.

"All I can say about Mayor Bloomberg, good or bad, he's earned his own money. And that's what we don't know what these people have been doing, besides complaining," said a local. "And that's all I can say. We don't know enough about them. So they know how to say they don't like this, they don't like that, but what positive things have they added to the mix?"

By Sunday evening, no protesters had been arrested.

Meanwhile, some community leaders gathered Sunday at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the former campsite of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, to criticize how the city handled Tuesday's cleanup of the area.

State Senator Eric Adams and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel said the New York City Police Department violated its own policies by not issuing receipts to protestors after their property was taken away.

The pair said city officials violated a court order by cleaning out Zuccotti Park and should be penalized.

"The question becomes, should the Bloomberg administration be held in contempt of court for not following the judge's order?" said Siegel.

"If there are rules and regulations that are put in place that the occupation individuals must follow, then the City of New York must follow the same rules just as well," said Adams.

"I want to know why our First and Fourth Amendment rights, our rights to assemble, I want to know why these things are being violated openly. It's not fair," said Occupy Wall Street protester Aaron Black.

Adams and Siegel also demanded to know why several members of the media were arrested or otherwise prevented from entering the park.

The mayor's office said the property was not seized but abandoned in public space.

A City Hall spokesperson said protesters were given 45 minutes to take their belongings and that more than 500 items have been picked up from a Department of Sanitation garage on West 57th Street.

Protesters have until Tuesday to pick up their belongings from the garage.

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