Beautification Project of the Day: Speaking of which, the Occupy Wall Street protest may be coming to abrupt halt.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently told demonstrators they were welcome to occupy Zuccotti Park “indefinitely,” visited the movement’s home base today to tell those present they would have to evacuate by tomorrow morning so the park could be cleaned.
Though Zuccotti Park is open to the public, it is actually a privately owned space belonging to Brookfield Office Properties. Brookfield’s chief executive penned a two-page letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, asking for assistance in clearing the park so that the company can address the “health and public safety issue” allegedly created by the “trespassing of the protesters.”
Though Bloomberg promised Occupy Wall Street participants they would be allowed to return to the park after maintenance work was completed, new park rules posted today (see above) prohibit further construction of tents, as well as “lying down on the ground” with or without sleeping bags (which are now prohibited as well).
As Think Progress notes, these rules are “designed to effectively end #occupywallstreet.”
Occupy Wall Street organizers are attempting to orchestrate a volunteer clean up operation with the help of $3,000 for supplies and anyone willing to lend a hand. More info in this emergency call to action.
The clearing of Zuccotti Park is set to begin tomorrow at 7 AM.
I will be live blogging the riots, in case anyone is interested.
From my computer, tho.
I’ll try to take some photos tomorrow.
Pro: I kind of hate cops
Con: I’m a big wimp and have no desire to get beaten/wet/gassed/arrested- I’m 32 and over that shit.
Shocking, the NYPD is going to enforce property law.
Right? I mean, I’m flip floppy on the whole movement but…shit this is privately owned property. That’s kind of like just moving into someone’s backyard and making it your encampment for your movement. I mean. Privately owned property is privately owned property.
Public demonstrations in public spaces are the right of the people. Public demonstrations in private spaces are not.
I mean, that’s pretty cut and dry.
But I’m an oldster with a permanent sideye, so…
This is just utter facepalm.
They picked a park that isn’t actually public?
Although, i have to wonder if the knowledge that the park is privately owned is easily accessible to the public, and not on display in, I don’t know, the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of The Leopard.” Still, somebody dropped the ball there.
That “no lying down” rule is pretty assholey, too. No tents you can make an argument for but no lying down? Like, fuck you, maybe I’m having a picnic ten years from now with my future husband Astronaut Mike Dexter and he wants to take a nap. Would you tell an astronaut he can’t lie down? What’s next, no dancing? Are we gonna have to cut loose? Footloose?
the picked a park that’s open 24 hours. if they had picked a different one they would have been kicked out by the cops a long time ago.
Hate to say it but those are park rules that have been clearly posted since, well, since the park was first opened. And they are not merely printed pieces of paper: they are heavy, metal (probably aluminum) plates, affixed to an architectural feature in the park such as a pedestal or a planter.
New York City parks — as in those that fall under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation — are generally not open 24 hours a day. In fact, most parks have posted signage indicating the hours of operation — if not the general times of day when they can be used (e.g. “Park Closes At Dusk.”).
There are not many options, park-wise, in that area of Manhattan. Space-wise, Battery Park is the only big “open space” down there, and that’s already heavily patrolled due to its proximity to the Staten Island Ferry and the Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty ferries. Foley Square, just north, is more of a plaza; and Battery Park City is essentially separated from the Financial District by West Street, the extension of the West Side Highway — hardly a good location if you want to protest against Wall Street.
The only realistic scenario for Occupy Wall Street at this point is, sadly, to hope that the NYPD and Brookfield Properties doesn’t use force to remove what is a peaceful protest from a privately-owned but public park. And judging by the recent heavy-handedness demonstrated by the police, that won’t happen. So protestors will likely have to decamp elsewhere, perhaps in shifts, if they want to maintain a presence in Zuccotti Park.
It’s all just very, very sad.