Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD’s 1 a.m. move into Zuccotti Park last night, where they kicked out the Occupy Wall Street camp in a surprise, late-night eviction.
Bloomberg said protesters are welcome to return to the park later today, once park owners Brookfield Properties finishes cleaning it, but they will not be allowed to erect tents, tarps or sleeping bags.
“I have become increasingly concerned — as had the park’s owner,
Brookfield Properties — that the occupation was coming to pose a health
and fire safety hazard to the protesters and to the surrounding
community,” Bloomberg said at an early morning press conference today.
The decision to evict the protesters comes after Brookfield requested the city enforce the no sleeping rule in the park, and only hours after business owners in the area pleaded with the mayor to shut down the protest, citing threats and vandalism from protesters.
“But make no mistake,” the mayor said, “the final decision to act was
mine and mine alone.”
150 people were arrested last night — some who chained themselves to trees — and we’re hearing that most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are now in Foley Square. They plan to shut down the New York Stock Exchange and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday.