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Live Blog for #OWS: Day 27, Sanitation as Pretext to Clear Out Liberty Park

Occupy Wall Street is in crisis mode today, as they prepare to confront a forced cleaning of Liberty Park, where they are holding their occupation. The occupiers suspect the cleaning by the city will be used to disperse the camp and bring an end to Occupy Wall Street. They also suspect there will be a confrontation between NYPD and occupiers as barricades and chains are used to block off the park so the camp does not re-form.

Yesterday, a letter from Brookfield Properties, owner of Liberty Park (which they re-named Zuccotti Park), to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was leaked. The letter from the owner declares:

We fully support the rights of free speech and assembly, but the manner in which the protesters are occupying the Park violates the law, violates the rules of the Park, deprives the community of its rights of quiet enjoyment to the Park, and creates health and public safety issues that need to be addressed immediately.

The letter aims to communicate the park owner’s belief that there has been damage to the park by materials and equipment brought into the park. It attempts to convey the owner’s feeling that the “conditions at the park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe levels.”

Brookfield Properties has been trying for weeks to get the city to respond to their growing fear and scorn toward the occupiers. Now, Brookfield has gotten New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to come down and inform the occupiers that there will be a cleaning.

The occupiers are trying to pre-empt the cleaning with the hopes that they can satisfy the park owner or expose the city for trying to effectively end Occupy Wall Street. Right now, they have brooms and mops out and are scrubbing and sweeping the park.

Reuters reports the park has “notified protesters that once each section was reopened after about four hours for clean up, rules would be enforced against camping and/or the erection of tents and other structures, lying down on the ground or benches, placing tarps or sleeping bags on the ground, storage of personal property.”

It certainly seems like the occupiers are going to be run out of the park and prevented from re-establishing their camp. That is why the occupiers are considering a plan to lock arms and surround it to prevent workers from entering to clean the park.


I am in Boston and about to go down to Occupy Boston. There will be a rally at 3:30 pm and an action in front of a local Verizon branch at 5 pm to demand a fair union contract. I hope to meet some of the occupiers, record interviews with some of them on the police raid at 1:30 am on Tuesday and hear about their vision and plans for Occupy Boston.

I then will be heading back on Friday to see what happens with this forced cleaning and to cover the massive demonstrations on Saturday, October 15.

FDL’s premier live blog continues. Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates.


[*FDL will be streaming from Occupy Boston at 3:30 4:00 pm ET.]

1:59 AM Naomi Klein reported a little earlier: After cops raided Occupy San Francisco and tossed their stuff in the dump, garbage workers returned it to the protesters, saying ‘We are 99 % too'”

1:56 AM Occupy Seattle has ten people arrested, occupiers believe they are about to be evicted and forced to disperse by police

1:36 AM While I was sleeping for about an hour—the only sleep I will probably get before the action begins to really unfold at Liberty Park, the “progressive” Democratic governor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, decided it was time for the occupiers to go:

I am monitoring the action now. @OccupyDenver tweeted that the eviction by force could take place any time from now until 5 am. It is 11:45 pm in Denver right now.

11:48 PM Massive “We Are the 99%” banner unfurled (via @RDevro)

9:45 PM

9:37 PM Here is the Emergency Call to Action from Occupy Wall Street organizers [ICYMI]:

Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street participants must follow the “rules”.

NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that they will move in to clear us and we will not be allowed to take sleeping bags, tarps, personal items or gear back into the park.

This is it—this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.


1) Call 311 (or +1 (212) NEW-YORK if you’re out of town) and tell Bloomberg to support our right to assemble and to not interfere with #OWS.

2) Come to #OWS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT to defend the occupation from eviction.

For those of you who plan to help us hold our ground—which we hope will be all of you—make sure you understand the possible consequences. Be prepared to not get much sleep. Be prepared for possible arrest. Make sure your items are together and ready to go (or already out of the park.) We are pursuing all possible strategies; this is a message of solidarity.

9:31 PMBig Brother is most definitely watching Occupy Boston.

9:20 PM A report from @MichaelKBusch, who is at Zuccotti Park right now: He confirms cops harassed a person who had used a tarp to make a structure. He says the crowd is “healthy” but the park is not overwhelmingly packed yet. The legal team is working stuff out and preparing for the occupiers to make a human chain around Liberty Park and make a stand against the forced cleaning. News trucks are still parked alongside the park. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! is there. The police presence has not increased is more or less like other nights.

8:38 PM The Dissenter has changed its plans and is headed back to Occupy Wall Street for tomorrow morning’s imminent standoff between the occupiers and the police, park owner and the city. The action could begin as early as 4 am. I will be into New York by 2:30 am.

8:37 PM Photo from @MMFlint of occupiers cleaning the park so they can neutralize the property owner and city’s excuse to have the occupation evicted tomorrow morning at 6 am ET:

8:36 PM @RDevro reports: “Protesters reportedly attempted to deliver stack of petitions to Bloomberg at Cipriani (restaurant) but were turned away by security.”

3:50 PM My Pictures from Boston:

2:42 PM Occupy Colleges is having a big day today. Student actions will be taking place at 4 pm ET.

2:40 PM Occupy Wall Street GA approves Community Beautification project. They will be spending $3,000 of their own funds to broom, mop and power wash the park before the park owner tries to force them out tomorrow.

2:30 PM “Saturday Night Live” alum Victoria Jackson trolls Occupy Wall Street.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."