Protesters leave New Haven Green in defeat
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — About a dozen Occupy New Haven demonstrators were arrested today as police cleared out the protesters after winning a court battle.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled in the city’s favor yesterday, allowing the city to evict protesters, who have been at the site for six months.
A lawyer for the protesters says there is “nothing more the federal court can or will do.”
A federal judge ruled last week that the city has the right to oust the protesters. The city began removing a tent city when word came of a stay ordered by the appeals court.
Occupy New Haven protesters cited free-speech rights and challenged the city’s authority to evict them because the Green is privately owned.
Many of them packed up their belongings within hours of yesterday’s ruling, but police said about 50 protesters still were in the area this morning when they arrived to clear the camp.
Some of the protesters had to be carried away after refusing to leave, police said. No injuries were reported.
“It’s a blow for democracy,” said Jennifer Drury, a protester who was not arrested. “This is the people’s space.”
A sign left hanging in the park said: “You can’t evict an idea.” A Hazmat team was called in to check for dangerous materials after the protesters were evicted. The empty park was surrounded by yellow police tape.
The protesters, adopting many of the techniques and aims of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York against financial inequality, lived in tents on the Green opposite the gate of Yale’s Old Campus. The New Haven protest celebrated its six-month on April 15.
Protesters vowed to continue demonstrating. Ty Hailey, a protester and a plaintiff in the court case who shivered on the cool morning, said the protesters who were arrested passively resisted to show their determination.
“Today is a transition day into the next phase of the Occupy movement,” said Hailey, who held up a sign, “Save taxpayers money and evict Congress.”
Debbie Elkin, another protester, said she felt inspired by the protests and was sad that they were removed.
“I was inspired to believe we actually can work to change the way the society is structured with 1 percent owning so much of the country’s wealth and having so much power,” Elkin said.