Though their presence may be somewhat diminished, Occupy Wall Street's drummers continue to exercise their First Amendment rights to annoy the hell out of Upper East Siders as part of a 24-hour jam session.
The event was slated to be held right outside Mayor Bloomberg's mansion, but the NYPD turned 79th Street into a "frozen zone" where protesters and pedestrians still cannot tread, and the drummers are confined to the corners of Madison & 79th and Fifth Avenue & 79th. "In effect, the police have created a no-First Amendment zone on 79th Street," civil rights attorney Norman Siegel tells the Times. "The fact that Michael Bloomberg lives on that street doesn't change the principles and values of the First Amendment right to protest."
Last night's press conference to announce the arrest of a terrorist suspect proved that Bloomberg wasn't in the Caribbean, but a spokesperson for the mayor declined to tell the paper whether or not he heard the drums. It should be noted that while the eardrums of the 1% are extremely attuned to the sound of 800-count thread sheets against skin, as well as any efforts to raise taxes, didgeridoos are virtually inaudible behind bulletproof windows.
Despite Bloomberg's refusal to speak with the protesters, the Post reports that a woman falsely identifying herself as the mayor's press secretary was happy to step in. "The occupiers are treating the mayor like a medieval warlord,” the woman, Mary DeBlase, told the drumming crowd yesterday. “You have put the mayor of New York under siege in his own home.” Stu Loeser, Bloomberg's actual spokesman, couldn't have said it better.