Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, is presently being evicted by a large police force.
The New York City Mayor’s office issued this statement at around 1o:00 pm. “Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared.”
I can’t believe they are so pathetic that they have to use the ‘it needs to be cleaned” excuse again. As if that justifies trashing thousands of dollars in private property, beatings, pepper-spraying…
- Police gave Occupiers NO time to removed their property. They moved in and started trashing everything and loading it into trucks.
- Police blocked all media and herded them into a “Press Pen”, far from the action. They also ordered TV helicopters out of the sky. At least one journalist was arrested, the NY Times’ Jared Malsin
- There have been many arrests and injuries, including Councilman Ydanis Rodriquez, who suffered a head injury at the hands of the NYPD.
- Andrew Katz reports that Foley Square will replace Zuccotti park. “No tents, just people”.
- There will be 7 am GA and 9 am rally, at 6th Avenue & Canal Street (but check to confirm – things are very fluid now).
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6:335 EST: @brianstelter: I’m w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared. He thinks violence was “completely deliberate.”
6:30 est: Mayor Bloomberg says Occupy Wall Street had 2 months “with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”
So… if this was a message, who was it to? NOT to Occupy Wall Street – they don’t care. They’ll carry on regardless. Was this a message from Bloomberg to the power elite that owns him? “Okay, you’ve been bugging me for action, here’s action! We roughed ‘em up a little! Now get off my case, I’ve got work to do!”
6:20 est: We’re hearing 70 arrests at Zuccotti, and 6 at Broadway and Pine. We’ll update as we learn more.
6:15 est: Aaron Muszalski (@sfslim) tweets: Just how dumb ARE the police? The biggest threats to the Occupy movement were boredom & infighting. Left alone, things might have unraveled.
6:oo est: Broadway and Pine was broken up with just 6 arrests. Many came down to Foley, where they have just arrived to cheers.
Not sure of total number of arrests today, but one man just reported to the GA that he was arrested earlier tonight at Zuccotti and has already been released. (via @katz)
@quinnnorton: Dawn over lower Manhattan. Helicopters overhead. The people’s mic. Chain smokers. Hard day ahead.
5:45 est: @brianstelter : A line of cops circled more than half of Foley Square, as if to clear the square — then they dissolved in a matter of minutes. Strange.
Andrew @Katz reports that Foley Square will replace Zuccotti park. “No tents, just people”.
5:20: NewYorkCreator (Ryan Hoffman): Comedian Brent Schmidt host of Fawkes News podcast was Arrested brutally right in front if me. Thrown into fence hard and tackled while complying. …for no reason. On sidewalk, not resisting.
5:00 est: Report that NYPD is clearing the street at Broadway and Pine.
4:30 est: AntDeRosa March of protesters coming up Nassau St have now met with group at Broadway and Pine. They’re reciting the First Amendment
4:15 est: NYPD Scanner “The cops are being overwhelmed at Broadway Fulton.” PD responding from several directions
4:20 est: Photo by @JoshHarkinson of Zuccotti park, now totally cleared.
Very, very sad. So much creative effort, crushed and wasted.
4:15 est: @NewYorkCreator, Ryan Hoffman, reports there was actually a patient in the Zuccotti medical tent when the cops began tearing it down. “In a warzone, medical tents are exempt from fighting. Apparently civilians protesting don’t get the same courtesy.”
4:00 EST: Occupiers tried to regroup with a General Assembly at Foley Square that broke down in arguments. People aren’t sure where to regroup. There’s also been talk of a group assembling at Washington Square Park.
3:30 EST: More from JoshHarkinson:
As I was observing, a cop approached me and asked me who I was. I told him that I am a reporter with a national magazine, He asked me who, I said Mother Jones. That’s when he said I had to leave.
I told him I wold not. That is is my right to be here and observe what is going on. He said that all the press is in the press pen, and that’s where I had to go
At that point he grabbed me by the arm and started hauling me away. I said I would not,.That he would have to arrest me, but I would go peacefully. I quickly realized he was just trying to escort me out, so I began resisting. He literally started hauling me across the park. My feet were slipping on the ground.
All around me, protesters were being pepper sprayed and zip cuffed
He told me if I stayed in the park I could get hurt. I pointed out that there was no chance of that. I had just been standing around. Cleanup already done for the most part.
Then he dragged me in front of a dump truck that was backing up. He said, “Look, this dump truck is backing up, you could get hurt”. I pointed out that he dragged me in front of it.
Then he deposited me on the other side of the street, where I am now sitting on a bench in front of a pizza joint.
3:30 EST JoshHarkinson was shoved out of the Park again by NYPD. He observed them
teargassing pepper-spraying the remaining Occupiers in the food tent.
Tear gas is to immobilize people who are attacking police or force people in a crowd to back off. WTF is the point of tear-gassing people who are already immobilized?
3:30 EST JoshHarkinson has made it into Zuccotti park and is tweeting from the food tent, where about 25 occupiers have used u-bolts to immobilize themselves. Police have pretty much left them alone, but now are massing at the food tent with zip cuffs. They say ”If you refuse to leave the park you are subject to arrest.”
3:20 EST: @RDevro: Protesters who just left Liberty say spirits are high. No violence from either side. People can leave if they want but choose to stay.
3:16: The assault on the press tonight is almost as great as the assault on Occupy Wall Street. Badgered, shoved back, knocked out of the skies, and penned in, and at least in one case we’ve heard of, arrested. No respect for press credentials.
@_rosiegray: Me: “I’m press!” Lady cop: “not tonight” @RDevro Police parked 2 NYPD busses in front of press cage, engines running, blking shots of sq. Yelling at media trying to work.
3:15 EST: An army of sanitation workers has entered the park. They’re serious about clearing everything out – and very serious about not letting people remove their personal possessions themselves. Apparently that wasn’t the game plan.
@Newyorkist: Two guys who had 9/11 memorial uniforms just asked NYPD for the drums. Cops gave them one each. Walkd around corner and loaded into truck
3:07 EST: Large number of NYPD now moving to reinforce the police line at Broadway and 14th.
@SamuriMaster ”National Lawyers guild says NYT journalist arrested already” 2:50: EST @jeffrae: Protesters are holding the line at Broadway and Pine. They have turned away a truck trying to bring gear out
WBAI reports crowd of as many as 400 at Broadway and Pine. More people arriving despite the subway shutdown.
2:45: EST:Despite the fact that they should not be able to do so, Police helicopters have closed air space over Zuccotti Park, preventing all news helicopters from filming what’s happening.
2:37: EST: RDevro: The NYPD are now setting up a “pen” for the press as far from the remaining protesters as they can place us.
2:33: EST: @RDevro: The NYPD just threatened to take our press passes if we don’t move off the block. They are forcing us to move where we can’t see shit.
2:29: EST: NYPD refused access to press.
@RDevro: Police are now pushing the press off the block. They just took the press pass off ab NBC news anchor
They also gave people no time to gather their belongings and remove them. They issued the order, and then waded in and started trashing the place.
2:26: EST: @rosiegray Of Village Voice tweets: A cop just grabbed me by the arm and threw me across the sidewalk – I yelled “don’t push me” but that pissed him off I think
2:23: EST: WCBS says NYPD is trying to get their hilcopter out of the airspace over Zuccotti park. But they have no authority to do that.
2:15: EST: Because, you know, that’s just a great way to operate. No notice, everybody out, but really you can come back later.
NYPD says that tents and structures are prohibited. Once they are removed and the park is safe people will be allowed to return. Assuming they haven’t arrested you and thrown your ass in jail, of course.
2:10: EST: KristenGwynne, Altenet reporter, says “Holy shit this is crazy pepper spray, pushing us, beating and arresting peaceful protesters.”
@rosiegray: I almost got nabbed – watching 2 arrests go down on bway – no, more arrests, all violent
Newyorkist: There is a young man sitting down on Trinity St, softly crying by himself
NYPD has at least two square blocks around the camp quarantined. There are unconfirmed reports of Occupiers being pepper sprayed in the park. (@NewYorkist photo)
1: 40 am EST: On the livestream, NYPD are shoving those outside the park, including photographers, away from the park. They don’t’ want people watching. As I watch, that livestream camera goes dark.