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The #OccupyWallStreet Eviction That Didn’t Happen

Occupy Wall Street was notified by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday that the owner of Liberty Park (which the owner renamed Zuccotti Park) informed the city that there were concerns about health and safety as a result of the nearly four-week long occupation. The CEO of Brookfield Properties, the owner, wrote a letter to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly that also went to Bloomberg and it outlined the key issues Brookfield has with the continued occupation.

That letter was leaked and posted online. You can read it here. The occupiers took the concerns of Brookfield Properties seriously and decided to approve funding for an extensive cleanup of the park. A Legal Working Group even sent a letter to the CEO explaining the legal issues raised by using police to evict the occupiers. The letter also addressed the myth that park had been damaged and also illuminated how the occupiers planned to clean the park.

They used mops and brooms to clean up.

The above video, recorded at 5:47 am, shows the scene just before 6 am, when the occupiers had been told they would be evicted. All was calm.

Then, at 6:19 am the occupiers still remained in the park. It was unknown what would happen. But, the crowd was increasing. Police were also beginning to line up in a formation on Liberty St.

The announcement was made at 6:37 am that the cleaning had been postponed. The video above shows the general assembly using “human mic” to relay the message to all who were in the park.

The text of the announcement was the following, essentially:

“Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park — Brookfield Properties — that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation,” Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement Friday morning. “Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Right after the announcement the park was as crowded as I had seen it and probably as packed as it was on the Wednesday that the community group and labor march happened. It was over capacity.

This was the scene at Liberty & Broadway less than an hour after the announcement. The police turned the corners of the park on Broadway into exits and made the other two corners entrances to the park. So now people could not get into the park on the Broadway side.

Suddenly, cops were on motorcycles and lined the side of the park and there were charter buses and school buses driving past the park. You can hear me react. I thought Occupy Wall Street was going to be Troy Davised. They announced they had gotten a postponed cleaning but there were the buses that could take people away if a mass arrest happened.

It would appear the police had vehicles parked somewhere ready to deploy if necessary. It was not a foregone conclusion that Brookfield would attempt to make a deal with the occupiers so they could remain. That is why the buses were going by. The motorcycles were for a march on Wall Street that had taken off. Two people tried to jump the barricade at Beaver St and were arrested.

The occupiers boasted and celebrated their victory:

And then Russell Simmons showed up.

CommunityFDL Main BlogThe Dissenter

The #OccupyWallStreet Eviction That Didn’t Happen

Occupy Wall Street was notified by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday that the owner of Liberty Park (which the owner renamed Zuccotti Park) informed the city that there were concerns about health and safety as a result of the nearly four-week long occupation. The CEO of Brookfield Properties, the owner, wrote a letter to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly that also went to Bloomberg and it outlined the key issues Brookfield has with the continued occupation.
 

That letter was leaked and posted online. You can read it here.  The letter also addressed the myth that park had been damaged and also illuminated how the occupiers planned to clean the park.

The occupiers took the concerns of Brookfield Properties seriously and decided to approve funding for an extensive cleanup of the park. A Legal Working Group even sent a letter to the CEO explaining the legal issues raised by using police to evict the occupiers.

They then used mops, brushes and brooms to clean up.

 

The above video, recorded at 5:47 am, shows the scene just before 6 am, when the occupiers had been told they would be evicted. All was calm. [cont’d] (more…)

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

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

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