Philadelphia > New York (when it comes to appreciation for the First Amendment)

Say what you want about the merits of the “occupy” movement. Whether you think they are the left-wing tea party, freedom fighters, speaking truth to power, simpleton dirty hippies playing hacky sack, they still have a First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.

And the asshat award winner, Michael Bloomberg, is renting out the NYPD to Citibank, and he takes the position that they are just “taking away jobs.” It doesn’t really sound like the mayor of a place like New York City, does it? But, those dipshit Yankees Fans elected him. They get the mayor they deserve.

Ninety miles to the south, the City administration honors their oaths of office. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and his Police Commissioner, Charles H. Ramsey are our First Amendment Bad Asses.

[Compared to Bloomberg] Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has struck a markedly different tone, saying police will work with demonstrators and assist with marches. Above all, Ramsey has emphasized that officers are bound to protect the demonstrators’ right to protest peacefully. Ramsey has also had the First Amendment read at roll calls and periodically over the police radio system as a reminder. (source)

And, while Philly has charged parade organizers in the past for police and clean up costs, the Mayor’s office is not seeking these costs from anyone involved with Occupy Philadelphia.

“The difference is that these are First Amendment-driven matters as opposed to a parade,” McDonald said. “They have a right to express themselves under provisions of the Constitution, and we simply don’t, as a matter of policy, attempt to charge citizens for their free-speech rights.” (source)

Mike Krauss of PhillyBurbs.com does a much better job than I of comparing the two cities and their Mayors.

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