Friday, October 14, 2011


Occupiers camp out in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.  OWS sources say they aren't going anywhere and the movement will only grow. 
photo: Ove Overmyer/The Voice Reporter
New York, N.Y.-- Despite an optimistic mood at Occupy Wall Street (OWS) today due to a decision by Zuccotti Park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, to not go forward with a planned cleanup of the space, demonstrators and police clashed in the Financial District this morning.

This led to multiple arrests, as well as the arrest and hospitalization of a legal observer after his leg was caught under a moving New York Police Department (NYPD) scooter.

Earlier, New York’s authorities announced that a clean-up of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camping for about a month, had been postponed.

Voice Reporter sources say the owners of the Zuccotti park had informed Mayor Bloomberg on Thursday night that they had put off the clean-up which had been scheduled for 7 am EDT on Friday, AP news agency reports.

“Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park, Brookfield Office Properties (BOP), 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,” the City's deputy mayor’s statement said.

City officials added that BOP hope they can reach some agreement with protesters to ensure that the park remained clean, safe and available for public use. The official promised to further monitor the situation.

According to BOP, conditions in the park were “unsanitary” as there was a shortage of rubbish bins and no toilets. According to the park owner, neighbors were complaining of offensive odors from the protesters, as well as harassment and drug abuse.

However, OWS organizers warned their supporters on Facebook that that the city’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg had used the ‘cleaning-up’ tactic to disband protests before. They also said that a similar ploy was used to dissolve protests in Europe.

At about 6 am this morning, some thousand protesters gathered at the park. Many stayed up all night cleaning the area themselves.

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been ongoing in the US since mid-September, with numerous complaints of police violence being lodged. Hundreds of protesters were arrested in New York alone and dozens in solidarity rallies across the United States, including the cities of Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Austin and San Francisco.

Most of the New York protesters who spoke to the media said they were determined to stay no matter what the police do.

The occupiers also plan to converge on Times Square, a move that has given rise to fears of clashes which have tended to break out each time the occupiers leave the park, giving the police an excuse to use force.

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