Occupy Pittsburgh: You Can’t Evict an Idea

Pittsburgh, PA—(ENEWSPF)—December 10, 2011. On Friday, December 9th Occupy Pittsburgh received notice from BNY Mellon of their intent to forcibly remove the downtown encampment.  The bank asks for “the removal of all tents and other structures as well as camping equipment and other stored personal items from BNY Mellon Green by no later than noon on Sunday, December 11, 2011.”  Occupy Pittsburgh’s response is clear: “You can’t evict an idea.” 

While we appreciate BNY Mellon’s concern for the safety of Occupy Pittsburgh’s Members, the causes for concern stated in their notice are based on false information in an immoral attempt to bend public opinion.  BNY Mellon claims that their “concerns are heightened by reported incidents of hypothermia.”  Occupy Pittsburgh has had no actual cases of hypothermia among campers, and our plans for winterizing the camp on Sunday, December 11th, will provide even better protection from the cold.  BNY Mellon also claims that they have concerns over “the use of propane heaters, gasoline powered generators.”  However, there are no propane heaters and gas powered generators in the encampment. 

BNY Mellon states that after Sunday, December 11, 2011 “overnight camping and the presence of any structures, camping equipment, and stored personal items will be prohibited and considered an unlawful trespass, which we will seek to remedy by filing for injunctive relief with the court on Monday.”  Occupy Pittsburgh is rightfully choosing to remain at the encampment with the protection of the American Constitution’s guaranteed right to “peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” the Pennsylvania State Constitution’s Right of Petition which states, “The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for a redress of grievances or other proper purposes by petition, address or remonstrance,” and Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle Ordinance which states that privately owned green-space Downtown must be free and open to the public without restriction.  Additionally, the Pittsburgh City Council recently passes a resolution stating that “the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does support and declare solidarity with Occupy Pittsburgh and the Occupy Wall Street movement, exercising First Amendment rights in a free, open, peaceful, and productive manner, toward the better condition of our citizens and of these United States.”

Occupy Pittsburgh encourages all of its supporters to join us at the Downtown encampment on Sunday, December 11th at noon to stand together and say, “You can’t evict an idea.” A press conference with Occupiers, as well as Civic and Union leaders, will also take place at that time.