Photo: Julia La Roche, Business Insider
It appears that a potential crisis at Zuccotti Park, home of the Occupy Wall Street protests, has been averted (maybe).Brookfield Properties, which owns the park, has withdrawn its request for the NYPD to clean it up, and to prevent protesters from coming back with their sleeping bags and gear.
And protesters are being allowed to stay.
All morning, tensions were rising, ahead of the expected conflict with police. Protesters were even moving in off the sidewalk, so that they would be even tighter and harder to arrest. Luckily the issue was diffused.
BUT (!) things are not over yet. With tons of people in the park, and adrenaline running high, there’s been an urge to mark and do something more dramatic. So there are people walking down Broadway, and there’s talk of marching directly on Wall street.
We’ll keep updating LIVE.
The announcement form the Deputy Mayor’s office…
- 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.”
Original post: Stay tuned, as the final hours of the current incarnation of Occupy Wall Street could be coming near.
The NYPD has ordered a cleanup of the park starting around 6:00 AM. More significantly, police have said that after the cleaning, sleeping bags and other equipment won’t be allowed back in.
It was an extremely rainy night in NYC and it can’t have been pleasant at the park, especially with the uncertainty of today’s events hanging over everyone.
We’ll be covering this live.
UPDATE 5:53: On our own walk to work today, we saw lots more police than usual in the financial district. According to RT’s Lucy Kafanov, protesters are being told to come off the sidewalk, enter the square, and pack more closely together, so as to make arrests more difficult.
Many tweeters say the park is as packed as ever, in part because unions have showed up. According to Matt Stoller of the Roosevelt institute, the UAW is there.
A live video feed is below.