Equality for All
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on where you are looking from, “equality” means that EVERYONE gets treated the same way. Sometimes, this means the neo-Nazis get to protest and assemble at a black church; sometimes this means a “church” gets to protest at a funeral for someone recently killed in one of our wars; and sometimes this means a corporation gets to enforce its property rights.
Having looked at BNY Mellon’s Complaint (drafted by Reed Smith…notorious defenders of corporate freedom) against Occupy Pittsburgh, it seems to me that BNY is well within its rights to kick out the Occupiers. If the allegations in the Complaint are true, and I am sure the lawyers for the Occupiers will argue that BNY Mellon has its head up its a**, it appears that the location of the Occupiers is on BNY Mellon property. The space is not public and the Occupiers are trespassers. If that is true, well, sorry Occupiers, BNY can kick you out like a house guest that won’t go home.
Of course, this begs the question that if, indeed, the Occupiers are trespassers, why did it take so long to kick them out? I don’t know about you, but if I had a band of twenty-somethings and a few aging hippies camping in backyard, I wouldn’t wait to kick them out. I also wouldn’t have to “evict” them. You don’t “evict” trespassers. You kick them out. So, I suspect that it not as simple as the Complaint would make it seem. Actually, the Complaint doesn’t make it seem simple at all–but that associate at Reed Smith has to justify his hours in some way!
I will be interested in the response from the Occupiers. Their lawyer is affiliated with a firm that has Jules Lobel, constitutional scholar extraordinaire, on its masthead. So, I have no doubt they will slap around BNY Mellon for a while. So, if you are a lawyer, or interested in the law, this is almost as good a fight as the Ories against the Zappalas. Stay tuned.