NYC Occupy Wall Street Facing Eviction, Call For Mass Turn-Out
By Misery Xchord

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0 DOOM! Magazine

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0

NYC Occupy Wall Street organizers have issued an emergency call to action to prevent impending eviction from their camp in Zuccotti Park.

UPDATE 10.14: NYC Mayor’s Office Postpones Eviction of Occupy Wall Street Protestors

The owner, Brookfield Properties, seeks their “temporary” eviction claiming sanitary conditions and repairs that needed to be addressed. Security guards passed out notices to protesters saying they would be allowed back in the park after the cleanup if they abide by park regulations.

“As sections of the park are cleaned, they will reopen to the public,” Brookfield said in an emailed statement. “All are welcome to enjoy the park for its intended purpose as an open neighborhood plaza, in compliance with posted rules.”

The notice lists regulations including no tents, no tarps or sleeping bags on the ground, no lying on benches and no storage of personal property on the ground. All those practices have been common at the park, where protesters have lived, slept and eaten for nearly a month, despite posted rules.

In a letter to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Brookfield Properties officials said sanitary conditions at the park have eroded over the three weeks the protesters have been camping there, and requested the assistance of the NYPD in clearing the park.  Brookfield is seeking to close the park for approximately four hours on Friday for steam cleaning beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, to be cleaned quadrant by quadrant.

“After weeks of occupation, conditions at the Park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe levels,” reads the letter. “We have not been able to perform basic cleaning and maintenance activity, let along perform more invasive repairs.”

“People will have to remove all their belongings and leave the park,” Police Commissioner Kelly said, “After it’s cleaned, they’ll be able to come back. But they won’t be able to bring back the gear, the sleeping bags, that sort of thing will not be able to be brought back into the park.”

Occupy Wall Street plans a mass protest 1 hour prior to the proposed eviction. They are also urging supporters to contact Mayor Bloomberg’s office at 311 (or +1 (212) NEW-YORK in support of the protesters continued use of the park. In the meantime, protesters launched a preemptive cleanup effort Thursday afternoon, in hopes the city and Brookfield might relent and allow them to stay.

UPDATE: Letter to Brookfield Properties from #OccupyWallStreet Legal Working Group

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0 DOOM! Magazine

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0

From occupywallst.org:

This is an emergency situation. Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread the word far and wide.

Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum, with occupation actions now happening in cities across the world.

But last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall Street participants about plans to “clean the park”—the site of the Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. “Cleaning” was used as a pretext to shut down “Bloombergville” a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere.

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.

[…]

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.

Occupy Wall Street is committed to keeping the park clean and safe—we even have a Sanitation Working Group whose purpose this is. We are organizing major cleaning operations today and will do so regularly.

If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working to secure these things to support our efforts.

We know where the real dirt is: on Wall Street. Billionaire Bloomberg is beholden to bankers.

We won’t allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation. This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic.

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0 DOOM! Magazine

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0 DOOM! Magazine

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0 DOOM! Magazine

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Zuccotti Park - © 2011 NLNY/Harrie Van Veen CC BY 2.0

UPDATE: Letter to Brookfield Properties from #OccupyWallStreet Legal Working Group

The following letter informs the CEO of Brookfield Properties, owners of Zuccotti Park, that using police to “evict” occupiers raises First Amendment and other legal concerns. It also attempts to convey that the OWS Sanitation Working Group has taken measures to clean the park and is willing to negotiate what further needs to be done to take care of park property.

Lawyers signed on are affiliated with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Margaret Ratner Kunstler, wife of the late radical lawyer William Kunstler, is one of the lawyers representing the occupiers.

BY FAX TO 212-417-7272

Richard B. Clark

Chief Executive Officer

Brookfield Office Properties

Brookfield Global Real Estate

Three World Financial Center

New York, NY 10281-1021

BY FAX TO 212-417-7272

Richard B. Clark

Chief Executive Officer

Brookfield Office Properties

Brookfield Global Real Estate

Three World Financial Center

New York, NY 10281-1021

Dear Mr. Clark:

Attorneys associated with the National Lawyers-Guild-New York City Chapter have been asked to represent the Sanitation Working Group. One of several autonomous working groups formed and operated by people who have been occupying Liberty Park. We are in receipt of a copy of your letter to New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly requesting police intervention and outlining your concerns about cleaning and maintenance of Liberty Park.

The enforcement action you are requesting raises serious First Amendment and other legal concerns. Under the guise of cleaning the Park you are threatening fundamental constitutional rights. There is no basis in the law for your request for police intervention, nor have you cited any. Such police action without a prior court order would be unconstitutional and unlawful.

The Sanitation Working Group has been addressing the concerns in your letter all along. Beyond that, it has committed itself to carrying out a thorough and complete cleaning and to addressing all of the issues related to sanitation raised in your letter. The Working Group welcomes representatives of Brookfield to view the cleaning process and its results.

Our investigation has revealed that no permanent structures have been erected within the Park, nor have any actions been taken to damage the Park, its plantings or other amenities. Your letter raises concerns about potential water infiltration of the Park’s underground lighting and electrical hazards. However, based on a visual inspection recently conducted by our clients, there has been no damage to the lenses covering the underground lighting and thus there is no risk of water infiltration. Additionally, it is our understanding that there has been no electricity running in said fixtures for weeks now. Therefore, there is no risk of electrical hazard.

The Working Group will continue to bag and haul trash on a tight schedule. Trash has consistently been bagged and hauled to established collection points and recycling rules have been bagged and hauled to established collection points and recycling rules have been strictly adhered to. The Working Group has been using primarily 50 gallon, 3 mil. thickness contractor bags. Additionally, the Working Group typically has had between one and fifteen people sweeping the Park with brooms at any given time.

The Sanitation Working Group has informed us that the following activities are being carried out to further address these issues.

  1. All hard surfaces within the Park are being scrubbed and/or polished
  2. Garbage removal will be stepped up
  3. Every item resting on the ground will be removed to allow for thorough cleaning; and
  4. Power washing will be employed where appropriate or possible.

Our clients are willing to sit down with you to resolve any of your concerns. They want to negotiate in good faith. Our clients agree to address any reasonable issues of sanitation safety and access and would like to prevent these issues from creating a pretext for police action in violation of our client’s First Amendment rights to utilize the Park. If you nonetheless decide to proceed with your request for police action, prior court approval is required.

Please feel free to call Ms. Ratner Kunstler at 917-331-8012 or Mr. Oliver at 646-246-3495 to discuss these matters. We look forward to hearing from you this evening.

Very truly yours,

Margaret Ratner Kunstler

Gideon Orion Oliver

Yetta G. Kurland

Sarah Kunstler

Martin R. Stolar

Bruce K. Bentley

Jano Marton

Michael Ratner

 

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Misery Xchord (97 Posts)

i am a very pretty hate machine. artist | illustrator | blogger | photographer (not a terrorist)