Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider
Occupy Wall Street as we know it is over.In a move that caught protesters completely by surprise, New York police raided Zuccotti Park right around 1:00 AM this morning, using bullhorns to announce that any protesters who did not leave faced arrest.
We were out in the city when we saw the NYT alert on Twitter that this was happening and immediately went down to check it out.
Here’s what happened.
As we got to the park, traffic came to a crawl. We saw a big lineup of ambulances on the nearby roads.
The police were very well prepared. EVERYONE, including media, was held several blocks away from the action.
We tried going around and accessing the park from a different angle, but it was extremely difficult to get close
While the outside was blocked off, police reportedly were ripping up tarps and tents and loading them into dumpsters
Some people reported seeing the police bring in an LRAD, a speaker designed to produce extremely loud noise.
NY1's Lindsey Christ described the scene as 20 of the scariest minutes in her life, according to a tweet from Brian Stelter
At this point, protesters have dispersed around the city. There's currently a General Assembly at Foley Square. Apparently they can return to Zuccotti in a few hours without tents or tarps.
Mayor Bloomberg has issued a statement explaining the need to balance the first amendment and public safety and health
After circling a 5 block radius, this was the closest I could get to the park. It was clear and crews were inside with pressure washers
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