As Occupy Wall Street protesters attempt to return to Zuccotti Park after their eviction last night, some of their high profile supporters reacted with dismay at what they saw as a heavy handed response on the party of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Alec Baldwin tweeted, "Bloomberg's NY is no place for the 1st amendment. Bloomberg serves Wall Street, now and forever. And Wall Street cannot handle free speech." He slammed Bloomberg for also banning protests during the 2004 Republican National Convention but also the city's rationale for closing the park, that they are inhibiting "first responders."
"New York City allowed a film production to block parts of the 59th St bridge to shoot a film," he wrote.
Mark Ruffalo wrote, "NYC Mayor takes play out of China's playbook. Meets peaceful protesters with violent crack down, blocks media coverage, destroys property."
Michael Moore, whose site was turned into a running newsfeed of the eviction last night, tweeted, "If the mayor & Wall St think this is just about a park, then they don't have clue about what's next."
Russell Simmons, at Occupy Boston today, planned to hold a press conference to propose a constitutional amendment limiting campaigns to public financing and not other contributions.
No Jail: A federal judge on Monday refused to send famed litigator Pierce O'Donnell to jail for making illegal contributions to the 2004 John Edwards for President campaign. That sets the stage for a trial in the case starting on Jan. 31. Here's my story from Variety.
Anti-Piracy Hearing: On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act, the companion to a Senate bill aimed at cracking down on so-called rogue websites that traffic in copyright infringing materials. Witnesses include U.S. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, Pfizer chief security officer John Clark, MPAA senior exec VP Michael O'Leary, MasterCard's Linda Kirkpatrick and Google policy counsel Katherine Oyama.
Google opposes the bill, and today was among the web companies which sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees telling them that the legislation would undermine the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a provision they say has been the "cornerstone of the U.S. Internet and technology industry's growth and success." Also signing on to the letter were AOL, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Yahoo and Zynga. The full letter can be viewed here.
Last Night: Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes, Fox's Jim Gianopulos, U's Ron Meyer and Paramount's Frederick Huntsberry were among the studio leaders attending the MPAA's tribute to Ronald Reagan at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington to mark the centennial of his birth. MPAA chairman Chris Dodd addressed the crowd and said that Reagan "understood the language and imagery required for a successful modern Presidency." Also present were former Secretary of State Colin Powell (above, with Gianopulos), former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein and Reagan Foundation President Fred Ryan.
Tonight: Pepe Aguilar and Eva Longoria are among those expected at MALDEF's 2011 awards gala in downtown Los Angeles, with Linda Ronstadt, Antonia Hernandez and Roland Palencia the honorees.
Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, speaks to the Artists & Athletes Alliance at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.