As most of you already know, there was a lawsuit filed the morning of the raid to ask the Court to stop the eviction and challenge the new rules put out by Brookfield about the use of Liberty Plaza. This lawsuit is still open, even though the Court decided against us initially. It was filed on behalf of an individual, not OWS. We now propose that OWS authorize Alan Levine, a long time civil rights attorney who argued the case before the Court the morning of the raid, to form a legal team to represent OWS in litigation going forward.
The legal team will focus on how our rights were violated the night of the raid, destruction of community property and the restrictions on the use of Liberty Plaza since then, including the barricades, police and security guard harassment, and the “rules” they are enforcing.
To be clear, the litigation is not about getting individual’s stuff back that was taken or destroyed, or about police brutality — lawyer teams are coming together to brainstorm and take legal action in connection with that separate from the litigation in this proposal. We will be holding open forum discussions about these other issues in the coming days and weeks.
The litigation in this proposal is about our right to protest and the use of public space in connection with Liberty Plaza. There is never a guarantee in litigation, we may not win. This is an opportunity for our voices to be heard in a very public way about how our rights were violated the night of the raid, how our rights continue to be violated, and how the government and corporations like Brookfield are trying to silence us. This litigation is just one of many routes we can take, and are already taking, to push our political actions into the public consciousness.
OWS Activist Legal Working Group