NYCLU Brokers Deal Between Occupy Buffalo and City to Protect Protest

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
December 9, 2011 12:00 am

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The New York Civil Liberties Union has helped broker an agreement reached today between the City of Buffalo and the Occupy Buffalo movement that will allow demonstrators to continue camping in Niagara Square.

“This agreement is a win-win. It shows that cities can both accommodate free speech and protect public safety,” said John A. Curr III, director of the NYCLU’s Western Regional Office. “We’re gratified that the city and the protestors were willing to come to the table and negotiate this reasonable deal.”

The NYCLU’s Western Regional Office was instrumental in negotiating the terms of the agreement with the city and demonstrators.
The agreement permits the demonstrators to camp in the park subject to a set of rules meant to provide safety and allow all persons access to the square. Those rules include respecting the right of everyone to enjoy the square, no drugs or alcoholic beverages, no weapons and no children under 18 unless accompanied by an adult. Demonstrators agreed to leave the park during inclement weather conditions, including snow emergencies, or for other events that would require the entire square. However, the agreement provides demonstrators an alternate public space to protest when circumstances require them to temporarily leave Niagara Square. They have the right to return to the square after the weather condition or event has ended.

“This is a victory for the right to protest,” said NYCLU Executive Direct Donna Lieberman. “We applaud the city and demonstrators for coming to the table and working out an agreement that respects the First Amendment, provides safety and allows the general public to enjoy Niagara Square.”

The NYCLU brokered a similar agreement last month between the City of Rochester and Occupy Rochester protestors. That agreement, signed on Nov. 10, has served as a model for cities across the state and nation to accommodate Occupy Wall Street protests.
The agreement is available at www.nyclu.org/news/nyclu-brokers-deal-between-occupy-buffalo-and-city-pr…

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