Early this morning, protesters claimed victory as it was announced that the cleanup of Zuccotti Park would be postponed.
So an anticipated clash between Occupy Wall Street protesters and the NYPD didn't happen.
The decision to postpone the cleaning was made by Brookfield Properties, which owns the park, but was announced at about 6:30 a.m. today by protesters. The decision was viewed as a victory by protesters, who reportedly roared with cheering when it was announced.
Many viewed the mandated cleanup, after which sleeping bags, tents and tarps would not be allowed back into the park, as merely to a pretext to evict the demonstrators. Brookfield says the park is unsafe and unsanitary in its current condition, and they wanted to powerwash the park by sections.
Thousands had reportedly amassed at Zuccotti Park to fight the expected removal of protesters by police for the cleaning. The owners of Brookfield Properties have reportedly said they want to negotiate with protesters.
Below is a statement from Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway on the decision made by Brookfield Properties to postpone park cleaning.
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures
- A sneak peek at the Bronx stars of Animal Planet's The Zoo Season 321 Pictures
“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.”