Occupy Wall Street protestors were forcibly removed from Zuccotti Park last night at 1:00 am ending a two month occupation. Hundreds of police officers were put on the task; Tents were violently ripped apart, more than 140 peaceful protestors arrested, and press weren’t allowed into the park.
Those wishing to follow to protest news live can find ABC News stream of Bloomberg’s presser here, NYC stream here. Journalists to follow, who are there, include @antderosa, @quinnorton, and @caraNYT. @xenijardin at BoingBoing is doing a great job remotely of pulling information together. @krucoff has been offering some great commentary over twitter. Art tweep @manbartlett has been at the protest since the news broke last night, but his phone has died so only the archives are useful right now.
In a statement made this morning, Mayor Bloomberg explained the rationale for the eviction;
The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day. Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with [because the protesters had taken over the park] making it unavailable to anyone else. 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 protestors and to the surrounding community…
When press asked why they were not granted access to the park, a right they are required by law, Bloomberg responded, “Police routinely keep media off to the side to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect the press”.
A temporary restraining order has already been secured by lawyers for the protesters, barring the city from ”evicting protesters” and “preventing protesters from re-entering with tents & other property.” The city will be fighting that order this morning at 11:30.