Here's How Occupy Wall Street Came To A Sudden, Unexpected End Today

Occupy Wall Street

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.

Updates from 5:30 a.m. begin at slide 18.

When we heard the news of today's raid, we immediately got in a car to head down to Zuccotti Park

As we got to the park, traffic came to a crawl. We saw a big lineup of ambulances on the nearby roads.

And there were tons of cop cars on the road

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

There were also multiple helicopters in the sky

In addition to gating off the park itself, there was heavy presence on the actual Wall Street

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.

Some protesters tried to hold off the police by barricading themselves

Eventually, the police completely emptied the park. According to CNBC there were 70 arrests

Meanwhile, several reporters complained about the complete lack of access to see what was going on.

The Observer's Hunter Walker also complained of the Media Blackout

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

On every corner camera crews and protesters were complaining to police

People tried to get to work, but were stopped by the blockades

Protesters, woken up from sleep at 1 a.m., crashed out wherever they fell

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

Barricades were slowly being removed

Street cleaners circled Zucotti incessantly

There was violence earlier as the flat tire on the NYPD cruiser implies

People had obviously been standing on this police car

And someone dumped what looks like kidney beans on this police car

Clearly, it had been a long night for officers

The local Citibank was, however, well guarded

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