Early Tuesday morning, the NYPD cleared Zucotti park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters some 70 of them by arrest.
The protesters were told that once the park was cleaned that they may return, but without tents, sleeping bags or other equipment that would indicate an intent to camp out on the privately-owned park.
From NBC New York:
Hundreds of police officers, some in riot gear, descended on Zuccotti Park after midnight Tuesday in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street headquarters.
It comes just two days ahead of a massive planned demonstration Thursday marking the movement’s two-month anniversary.
Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to temporarily evacuate the park. Police said the eviction will improve health conditions.
The Wasthington Post reports, “At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park’s owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents.”
Some protesters cut the locks at a private area owned by Trinity Church to set up another illegal “occupation”. Police were quick to arrest and remove the trespassers.
Once the raid concluded, the protesters found a judge friendly to their cause to issue an order letting them back into the park with their tents and gear. Former ACLU and champion of the less fortunate Judge Lucy Billings signed the order at just after six in the morning. The city appealed and according to the Associated Press, “Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags..”
The cult-like Occupiers have a “day of action” planned for Thursday as requested by Union leadership. The Occupy Wall Street folks are planning a “major disruption” at Wall Street to coincide with the activities of big labor on that day. The group’s leaders are expecting their activities to be “the most provocative yet” and lead to mass arrests.
Occupy Wall Street spokesman Ed Needham said, “I think it is very difficult to do a day of action and not expect some sort of reaction from (authorities)”.
The day of action is expected to culminate in “a block party the 1% will never forget”. Exactly how a block party will shut down the New York Stock Exchange or Wall Street overall is unclear. Needham estimates that they will have 10,000 or more marching with the Occupiers in their attempt to take over Wall Street.