Police clear Occupy Wall Street protest

 

New York

Hundreds of people were on the streets of Lower Manhattan after police moved in to demolish the two-month-old Occupy Wall Street protest camp, the heart of the “Occupy” movement that spread to dozens of cities around the world.

Officers in riot gear arrived without warning at 1am and demanded protestors leave Zuccotti Park with the tents, tarpaulins and other belongings that had threatened to become a permanent fixture through the winter.

Almost 200 people were arrested during the operation and in the subsequent hours, as displaced protestors assembled, marched or ran through the nearby streets. While some residents of the camp left of their own accord, several dozen chained themselves together and to trees and were forcibly removed. Several hundred more people, summoned by social networks, joined them in the streets throughout the night, but the New York Police Department blocked off access to the area, sometimes forming lines eight officers deep behind temporary barricades.

In less than three hours, the police had cleared the park completely, and steam cleaned the area.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the park had become unsanitary and dangerous, and it wasn’t fair to prevent others from using the park. The early-hours raid was planned to minimise the risk of confrontation, he said.

"The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day," Mr Bloomberg said. "Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with, as the park has been taken over by protesters, making it unavailable to anyone else."

The park would be reopened, he said, but police would enforce rules preventing camping there. People would have to “occupy the space with the power of their arguments”.

The Occupy Wall Street movement began with a march through Manhattan’s Financial District on 17 September, aimed at highlighting inequality and the effects of the weak economy, and at protesting the bailout of US banks during the 2008 financial panic. Modelling their protest on Egypt’s Tahrir Square, organisers planned to create a permanent camp in the area. Copycat occupations sprang up in cities across the US and elsewhere in the developed world, including in London where protestors camped near St Paul’s Cathedral were planning to march on the US embassy to protest the New York evictions.

In Manhattan, evicted Occupy Wall Street protestors struggled in the small hours of the morning to regroup. Gaggles of people, many on smartphones, could be found on most street corners in the area outside the police exclusion zone. Foley Square, home of the federal courts, quickly became a focal point for the displaced protestors and new supporters, and a plan emerged to converge mid-morning on union headquarters in the hope of attracting additional support from organised labour.

Related Articles:

Laurie Penny: I was almost arrested too – but Bloomberg's tactics can only galvanise protests

First they take back Manhattan. Is St Paul's protest next?

US Secret Service says bullet hit window at White House

 

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?