Police Raid Occupy Wall Street at 1 a.m. – Begin Clearing Zucotti Park Out

by on November 14, 2011 · 3 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Economy


NYPD officers in riot gear prepare to enter Zuccotti Park November 15, 2011.

By Colin Moynihan and Corey Kilgannon / New York Times / November 15, 2011

The New York City police began clearing Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters about 1 a.m. Tuesday, telling the people there that the camp would be “cleared and restored” before the morning and that any demonstrator who did not leave would be arrested.

The protesters resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!” as the police began moving in and tearing down tents. The protesters rallied around an area known as “the kitchen” near the middle of the park and began building barricades with tables and pieces or scrap wood.

Dozens of officers moved into the one-square-block park from Broadway. As they did, dozens of protesters linked arms and shouted “No retreat, no surrender,” “this is our home” and “barricade!” There were no immediate reports of arrests.

Before the police moved in, they set up a battery of klieg lights and aimed them into the park. A police captain wearing a visored helmet walked down Liberty Street with an announcement: “The city has determined that the continued occupation Zuccotti Park poses an increasing health and fire safety hazard.” The protesters were ordered to “to immediately remove all private property” and that if they interfered with the police operation, they would be arrested. Property that was not removed, the police said, would be sent to the dump.

Some of the protesters grabbed their possessions. “They’re not getting our tents down,” one man shouted. People milled around, and some headed to the edges of the park.

The action comes as other cities’ police forces have begun evacuating similar protest camps, sometimes violently

A handful of protestors first unrolled sleeping bags and blankets in Zuccotti Park on the night of Sept. 17, but in the weeks that followed, the park became densely packed with tents and small tarp villages that was shelter for the perhaps 200 protesters.

The protest inspired similar ones nationwide and attracted celebrities and well-known performers. It became a tourist attraction, inspired more than $500,000 in donations and gained the support of labor unions and elected officials while creating division within City Hall and the Police Department

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has struggled with how to respond. He repeatedly made clear that he does not support the demonstrators’ arguments or their tactics, but he has also defended their right to protest and in recent days and weeks, has sounded increasingly exasperated, especially in the wake of growing complaints from neighbors about how the protest has disrupted the neighborhood and hurt local businesses.

The mayor met daily with several deputies and commissioners, as more business owners complaining and editorials lampooning him as gutless, the mayor’s patience wore thin.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Maria November 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I’m not liking the past tense in this article. “Inspired”, “became”. At least use the past perfect!

And, hey, some call Bloomberg gutless for not supporting, not seeing his own role in creating the need for this action.


avatar Maria November 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Edit: Thanks for posting so quickly! This is the second story I’ve seen published.


avatar stan chaz November 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

They came like thieves in the night…Bloomberg’s Blue Shirts…and robbed us of our rights. Bloomberg, the self-proclaimed number one defender of free speech (pause for gagging) has said in no uncertain terms: yes, you have the right…the right to remain silent. So just shut up and obey. This is only the beginning, Mayor.0001%. But it will be your legacy… of repression. And you will not succeed. I love America – its land and its people. But these governors, mayors, city councils, police chiefs, and street cops of America need to realize that it is NOT UP TO THEM whether or not Americans peaceably gather, protest, discuss, or demonstrate. It’s up to a document called the US CONSTITUTION. You can beat us and arrest us and tear-gas us, you can try to “permit” us to death….but you can’t kill an idea. You can’t keep down a people’s hopes and dreams for a better life….for us, and for our kids. America USED to work. The people had work. The system worke (sort of). Hey, EVEN the Congress used to work (sometimes). God knows, it was far, far, far from perfect -but at least we all had some share in the struggles AND the rewards. But somewhere along the way, we lost our way. Because now we have an economy and a political system that seems to work only for the rich. With OWS America has found it’s voice, and that voice demands fairness and justice – for ALL. This land IS our land! AND WE WANT IT BACK! We want our LIVES back! We want our FUTURE back! But it’s much more than just words…. it’s much more than politics….. it’s your freakin’ LIFE, and how you want to live it, and how you WILL live it. Find a quiet place somewhere, and consider this: Each of us has only one brief life….one chance….one roll of the dice….and many choices. The time has come to choose….to risk…and to act. If not now…then when? If not you, then….who? You DO have the power my friend….and the choice IS yours. Don’t let your dreams die….


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