Protesters campaigning against corporate greed have vowed to resist moves to oust them today from a park in Manhattan where they have been camping for a month.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters have been told by Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, that Zucotti Park will be "cleaned" at 7am today – midday in the UK – and that they will have to leave, taking all their camping equipment with them.
If successful it is likely to be a de facto eviction as once the cleaning is over they will be barred from returning with their sleeping bags or other overnight equipment. The loss of the park as a base is feared to cause the protest to end.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has attracted thousands of demonstrators to marches and protests in New York in recent weeks and it has spread to at least nine other US cities.
Demonstrators warned last night that they do not intend to simply give in to efforts to clear them from Zuccotti Park. In a statement they said: "We won't allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation. This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic."
The park is owned by Brookfield Properties, one of the biggest real-estate developers in North America, which has organised the cleaning session. The firm has said that "concerned citizens and office workers in the neighbourhood" have complained of: "Lewdness, groping, drinking and drug use... unsanitary conditions and... offensive odours."