When the NYPD all of a sudden decided Occupy Wall Street’s new sidewalk sleepovers were illegal, protesters moved down the block to Federal Hall (and got arrested there too). Once the first capitol building of the United States, the landmark is now a museum run by the National Park Service, creating a bit of a gray area in terms of NYPD jurisdiction. This week, the steps became sort of a home base for occupiers, and as such, the Hall is “announcing a temporary change to how the public will access the building” — away from the protesters.
According to an updated map on the website for Federal Hall, as pointed out by Gothamist, demonstrators will be asked to stay on one side of the big George Washington statue — he was inaugurated at the building — in the “First Amendment Rights Area,” a.k.a. “freedom cage.” Visitors can enter from the other side, steering clear of the riffraff.
You might be asking yourself: Isn’t all of America a First Amendment Rights Area? In which case, stop being so silly.