After a tense night filled with reports of police raids on Occupy Wall Street camps in other cities, an estimated 2000 supporters who crowded into Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, prepared to defend the OWS camp from eviction by NYPD, celebrate news that action by the city has been postponed.
Acting on a complaint from property owners, Brookfield Properties, police and city officials had served #OccupyWallStreet protesters with notice they must vacate the premises to allow for steam cleaning and repairs of the park, but stated they could only return if they abide by park 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.
A call to action issued by #OccupyWallStreet organizers noted that “Cleaning” was used as a pretext to shut down “Bloombergville” a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere. Supporters were asked to mass at Zuccotti Park before the eviction deadline and call the Mayor’s office to express their support for the protesters continued camping in the park.
“Friday morning, we’ll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms,” the group posted on Facebook. “If NYPD attempts to enter, we’ll peacefully, non-violently stand our ground, and those who are willing will get arrested.”
Late last night, the AFL-CIO emailed a noticecalling on their NY area union members to join the protesters in a show of solidarity and “stand guard” over the OWS camp overnight.
As the deadline approached, thousands who stayed up through the night following events as they unfolded and were instantly reported on Twitter, were watching live via Livestream broadcasts as shouting erupted, and just before 7am protesters could be heard calling for a “Mic Check”.
A Mic Check is the method used during OWS General Assembly to broadcast what is being said to the entire crowd without the use of microphones or sound systems. The speaker calls out Mic Check and the crowd repeats Mic Check, then repeats the words of the speaker, carrying them throughout the entire crowd.
As the announcement was repeated, the crowd broke into cheers and waved their brooms in triumph. The crowd, energized by it’s victory, is continuing to clean the park. Citizen Radio’s Allison Kilkenny Tweets , “It’s just a big party at Liberty Park right now. Many in disbelief. Hundreds were ready to go to jail.”
Protesters plan to clean 1/3 of the park at a time, removing their camping gear and belongings from each section temporarily, but not leaving the park completely.
Follow #OccupyWallStreet developments live: http://www.livestream.com/occupywallstnyc
Via BNO News:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2011
STATEMENT OF DEPUTY MAYOR CAS HOLLOWAY ON BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES POSTPONING THEIR CLEANING OF ZUCCOTTI PARK
“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. Our position has been consistent throughout: the City’s role is to protect public health and safety, to enforce the law, and guarantee the rights of all New Yorkers. 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.”
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