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article imageNew York Police raid Occupy Camp in Lower Manhattan Zuccotti Park

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 15, 2011 in Politics
New York - Shortly after midnight, police in riot gear entered the Lower Manhattan Zuccotti Park in which Occupy Wall Street protesters were camped and forcefully evicted them. The camp is widely referred to as the "global headquarters" of the Occupy movement.
The police action followed announcements of plans to mark the two month anniversary of the movement by "shutting down Wall Street" and "occupying the subways."
The City said the area "had become a haven for criminals and a safety hazard," the New York Post writes.
Hundreds of protesters have been camping in Zuccotti Park since September 17. Bloomberg reports about three hundred protesters were in the park when police, with loudspeakers, told them to leave or face arrest. When the protesters ignored the order, the police invaded the camp and, according to one eyewitness account, began "destroying everything," using force to remove the protesters who formed a human chain.
Bloomberg reports that the police arrested about 70 people.
Police spokesman John Buthorn told Bloomberg:
“The mayor will be speaking on behalf of the city, not the NYPD...Because of the situation, the police department is not going to speak for the mayor."
The Mayor had earlier issued a statement on the Twitter feed of his office, which asked demonstrators to,
"...temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps...Protesters can return after the park is cleared."
Before police moved in, they had handed out notices from the park owners, Brookfield Office Properties, which said continued occupation of the park posed health and fire hazard.
When the eviction commenced, the authorities kept journalists away, but smoke was seen over the park in the early hours of the morning. Protesters said the police fired tear-gas canisters at the crowd. MSNBC reports that police did not allow residents of the area to come out of their buildings to watch the eviction. They told doormen to lock up.
Bloomberg reports that the protesters released a statement at 2:25 a.m., local time, that said:
“Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces — our spaces...You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.”
According to MSNBC, several hundred demonstrators were seen regrouping close to Foley Square, discussing what to do next. Police have said, however, that the protesters will be allowed to return when the park re-opened at 8.30 a.m., but that they would not be allowed to bring to bring tents.
Day 2  September 18  of the protest Occupy Wall Street
Day 2, September 18, of the protest Occupy Wall Street
David Shankbone
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the decision to evict the protesters and remove their tents:
"Unfortunately, the park was becoming a place where people came not to protest, but rather to break laws, and in some cases, to harm others...There have been reports of businesses being threatened and complaints about noise and unsanitary conditions that have seriously impacted the quality of life for residents and businesses in this now-thriving neighborhood."
It's being reported a court order is mandating the park reopens for protesters.
Digital Journal reported that Occupy Portland protesters began breaking up camp on Sunday only after a Saturday midnight deadline expired. As the deadline approached, crowds joined the protesters in two downtown camps in defiance of police order, but by dawn they had left. Shorly after noon, police moved into the camp and forced out the remaining protesters.
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