Thirty-two protesters who were part of an Occupy Rochester demonstration in Washington Square Park were arrested on Friday, Oct. 28 for staying past the downtown Rochester park’s closing time. Occupy Rochester is an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement that began in New York City in September.
Two others were issued tickets on Monday, Oct. 31 for violations against Rochester’s municipal code.
Mayor Thomas Richards told the Democrat & Chronicle Monday that the city is “sympathetic” with some of Occupy Rochester’s grievances, but that it is against the law to live in the park and that the city is taking preventative measures to avoid confrontation.
Richards also told the D&C that he was willing to convene with Occupy Rochester representatives to work towards a solution, but the group posted a letter to its Facebook page on Tuesday stating that they would not meet with Richards because of their belief that communication should be done through a general assembly.
The group also called for the dismissal of charges against the 34 protesters implicated on Friday and on Monday.
“We cannot possibly represent truly the positions of all involved parties with a small delegation as was requested,” the letter stated.
The New York Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday took up the cause of Occupy Rochester, urging Rochester officials to allow Occupy Rochester protesters to stay in the parks and saying that such penalties limit First Amendment rights. The situation has yet to be resolved.
Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.