In an overnight move aimed to catch the brave occupiers off guard, the NYPD swept Zuccotti Park early this morning. Naturally, the human debris cleared out are not taking it well.
The NYPD arrested 70 protesters as they moved in on Zuccotti Park early this morning and began clearing out the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters who had taken over the space for nearly two months.
More than 1,000 cops marched on the lower Manhattan encampment shortly before 1 a.m. and handed out fliers ordering demonstrators to get out and remove their personal property.
The cops were followed by Sanitation workers, one of whom was overheard saying, “We’re gonna disinfect the hell out of this place.”
The fliers read, “The city has determined that the continued occupation of Zuccotti Park poses an increasing health and fire safety hazard to those camped in the park, the city’s first responders, and to the surrounding community.
“You are required to immediately remove all property, including tents, sleeping bags and tarps.”
That touched off a chaotic scene within the park, as many of the protesters were roused from their slumber and began shouting to others, “Wake up!”
The chaos was continuing this morning, as cops and protesters battled on Pine Street and Broadway at 5 a.m., with police pushing crowds out of the street and on to the sidewalk. Cops charged into the mob after a protester threw an object into a group of police.
At least one police officer was injured; he was seen being taken out of Zuccotti Park on a stretcher, his eyes closed and with several lacerations on his face.
Cops cut U-shaped bike locks off the necks of the last holdouts, who chained themselves together in the center of Zuccotti, witnesses said.
A roving group of several hundred ousted protesters marched north up Centre Street after the cleanup, clashing with police who in at least one case were seen using batons on a group crossing the street in a crosswalk and with a green light. A large crowd of protesters went north and are at Foley Square.
Police arrested at least 70 people in the early morning chaos, physically dragging many from the squalid encampment.
“What do you mean I’m done? What law did I break?” screamed a man as he was arrested and marched out of the park.
Public urination and defecation was a public-health problem from the beginning.
All-night drumming, disruption of local business and sporadic forays out of the park to shut down traffic and such were a 24/7 presence.
Then came the crime.
Reports of rape, sexual abuse and garden-variety assault were fixtures.
Drug-dealing, common theft and fistfights between demonstrators were commonplace, too.
Again, such anti-social behavior was not unique to New York City.
Occupy sites across the nation reported similar crimes — rape and assault among them — and at least four demonstrators were reported dead under suspicious circumstances.
At least one was a gunshot victim.
Thus it’s not surprising that mayors around the country have ordered house-cleanings not dissimilar to what Bloomberg undertook last night.
No doubt they, too, will be met by the usual platoons of civil-liberties lawyers and hand-wringing enablers in the nation’s newsrooms.
But the fact is that no right — the First Amendment included — is absolute.
These mutants are freaking out because they were caught by surprise. Well, since they were planning even more disruptions Thursday, it was time to act.
According to their website, the day will include “Mass, Non-violent Direct Action” to “Shut Down Wall Street” at 7:00am local time, “Occupy the Subways” in all five boroughs at 3:00pm local time and “Take the Square,” referring to Foley Square, at 5:00 a.m.
“If they think this is the end of it, they’re crazy,” Steve Iskovitz, 51, a mental health counselor from Pittsburgh, said. “People will strike back.”
“They took oaths to protect and serve,” Jason Lee, 36 of Brooklyn, said. “They broke that oath tonight. They destroyed what we built. That’s tyranny by any definition.”
Mounting attacks on encampments by heavily armed paramilitaries is only going to make the movement a more irresistible force. The 1% are going to lose. They are outnumbered 99 to 1, no matter how many police they hide behind.
Disturbing the “system” will take more than occupying parks. It will the energy of every American who is awake and concerned regarding our countries future. The ripples started in Zucotti Park, Oakland, Seattle, Athens, Rome, Moscow, even in China, will exponentially overwhelm the old power structures. A tipping point is very close, if not already achieved. Those who fearfully hang on to their elevated and protected enclaves will be the last to go.
Meanwhile, the former occupiers are working with Obama’s goons from SEIU to plot their next move.
Just in – Labor reps from SEIU have met with OWS leaders. They are asking everyone to meet at Foley Square at 8:15. They will match to 6th Avenue and Canal at 9am. “We will have thousands to join you,” the labor rep said. TW Local 100 will also be joining.
Normal people are just happy to have sanity restored.
An iron worker at the World Trade Center site who just showed up for work, Mike Dalton, 40, of Mineola, told Burke, “It’s nice to see the floor of the park again.” Dalton and his fellow ironworkers from the WTC site used to go to Zuccotti for lunch every day.
“Protesting is one thing but it turns into squatting. You got to make your points but lying in tents doesn’t do it. Now, you can actually have lunch here,” Dalton said.
Update: Judge rules the mutants can return to the park.