Police arrest an Occupy Wall Street protester at Zuccotti Park on Tuesday in New York.
Citing health and safety concerns, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg defended his decision to eject the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, protesters fought back on the legal level with a restraining order and reconvened near their former headquarters to figure out their next moves.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that around 200 people were arrested in the ouster. Meanwhile, the Occupy Wall St. Facebook group made a call for supporters within and outside of the city to come to “the center of the empire” on Thursday and shut down Wall Street. “Imagine what tens of thousands of people in the streets around Wall Street looks like,” the post said. “Now help make it happen.” —KA
The New York Times:
The mayor, at his news conference, read a statement he had issued around 6 a.m. explaining the reasoning behind the sweep. “The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day,” the mayor said in the statement. “Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with” because the protesters had taken over the park, “making it unavailable to anyone else.”
“I have become increasingly concerned — as had the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties — that the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protesters and to the surrounding community,” Mr. Bloomberg said. He added that on Monday, Brookfield asked the city to assist in enforcing “the no sleeping and camping rules.
“But make no mistake,” the mayor said, “the final decision to act was mine and mine alone.”
Some of the displaced protesters regrouped a few blocks away at Foley Square, with the row of courthouses on Centre Street as a backdrop, and swapped stories of their confrontations with the police as they talked about what to do next.