NEWARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) –– Mayor Cory Booker is urging “Occupy Newark” protestors to be respectful of residents in the city and the rule of law.
Booker’s words came on Friday, when about 30 protesters arrived in Military Park and planned to stay there throughout the weekend. However, the park has a 9 p.m. curfew and police have continually said it will be enforced.
Booker said he’s sympathetic to the group’s message, but wants cooperation.
“We’re welcoming them here…what we humbly are asking is that they respect the laws of our parks. There’s a park curfew, there’s no open flames, generators and all of those things. We’re humbly asking them that they respect that,” he said.
Police Chief Chief Sheila Coley greeted the activists at the park, telling them that had the right to protest in a non-violent fashion. The anti-corporate greed message is likely to resonate in a city with a 15 percent unemployment rate and even more living in poverty.
Booker’s primary concerns is that protesters breaking the curfew could end up drawing police resources from various neighborhoods. He said he is humbly asking demonstrators to comply with the laws.
“If they partner with us, we believe we can affirm, celebrate robust First Amendment expressions as well as protect the residents here in the city of Newark,” Booker said, adding that police protection was needed to protect “the very quote, unquote 99 percent that [protesters] are concerned with.”
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