Mayor's plan to have the NYPD clear protesters from Zuccotti Park for cleaning on Friday is met with skepticism VIDEO
It looks like Friday is going to be an interesting day at Zuccotti Park. Just two days after declaring that the occupiers of Wall Street could stay in the park indefinitely, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night that protesters will have to leave at least temporarily for a cleaning of the park on Friday. And there are hints that the company that owns the park wants the NYPD to evict the protesters permanently.
There is little chance that the protesters will comply with a temporary removal request — and zero chance that they will willingly leave for good.
Bloomberg briefly visited the park last night, and his office later released a statement declaring, “As the protest has continued, Brookfield has expressed concern about its inability to clean the park and maintain it in a condition fit for public use. Brookfield conveyed these concerns in a letter they sent to the City.”
It continues: “The cleaning will be done in stages and the protesters will be able to return to the areas that have been cleaned, provided they abide by the rules that Brookfield has established for the park.”
Emphasis added. One of the big questions here is what exactly those rules are, how they will be enforced, and by whom; I’ve asked Brookfield for comment on its rules and will update if I hear back.
The letter from Brookfield to the city, which I’ve posted below, argues that “conditions at the park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe conditions” and requests “the assistance of the New York City Police Department to help clear the park” for inspection and cleaning.” The letter then continues, ambiguously:
Once we have completed our cleanup and maintenance, we would ask that the Department assist Brookfield on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of all those using and enjoying the park.
That line could be interpreted as a request to permanently evict the occupiers. The letter also claims that having mattresses and sleeping bags in the park violates Brookfield’s rules. So the city’s pledge that protesters will be able to return — but only if they follow Brookfield’s rules — could be interpreted as a de facto eviction announcement.
Also worth remembering here: Bloomberg’s longtime girlfriend, Diana Taylor, sits on the board of Brookfield.
Keep in mind that moving the protesters out of the park is no simple thing. There is an infrastructure set up, of sleeping areas, an in-house media center with a generator where much of the Internet work gets done, a food area with racks and tables, a growing library, and so on.
The protesters — who have a sanitation committee that has been keeping the park relatively clean, given the circumstances — appear to have no intention of leaving the park.
In response to Bloomberg, some protesters have announced ”Operation #wallstcleanup” for Thursday and Friday, in which the park will be thoroughly cleaned by the occupiers and then any attempt to evict by the NYPD will be nonviolently resisted. Here’s how the plan — which has not yet been endorsed by the entire group — is described:
On Wednesday/Thursday, all campers/supporters should reach out to friends/family/anyone to donate or purchase brooms, mops, squeegees, dust pans, garbage bags, power washers and any other cleaning supplies to be collected at sanitation. The sanitation committee should move full-speed ahead on purchase of bins allocated by consensus at GA.
After General Assembly on Thursday, we’ll have a full-camp cleanup session. Sanitation can coordinate, and anyone who is available will help with the massive community effort!
Then, Friday morning, we’ll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms. If NYPD attempts to enter, we’ll peacefully/non-violently stand our ground and those who are willing will get arrested.
Afterwards, we’ll march with brooms and mops to Wall Street to do a massive #wallstcleanup march, where the real mess is!
Finally, here is Brookfield’s letter to NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, via Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah:
UPDATE: Here’s a bit of video from Bloomberg’s awkward visit to the park Wednesday evening:
More Related Stories
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11