Lately, the police clear protesters every night from Union Square, the new focal point of the Occupy movement since it was evicted from Zuccotti Park in November. But last night, about two dozen protesters didn’t disperse afterward—they set up slumber parties in front of nearby banks, the Times reports.
Somebody told the protesters about Metropolitan Council Inc. v. Safir, a 12-year-old ruling in which a federal judge declared that “the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not allow the city to prevent an orderly political protest from using public sleeping as a means of symbolic expression.”
Armed with sleeping bags, cardboard and foam—as well as leaflets explaining the court decision—half the group camped out in front of the Citibank on Broadway, the other half in front of the Bank of America on University Place. “As long as we don’t block doors or take up more than half the sidewalk there is no disorderly conduct,” one protester told the Times. Police visited both groups to issue instructions, but reported no arrests.
Success! Slumber party everywhere!