Protesters successfully avert clearing of Zuccotti Park
The Occupy Wall Street encampment was in serious jeopardy last night; Mayor Bloomberg, at Brookfield Office Properties' request, announced that the city would attempt to clean Zuccotti Park at 7am this morning and that once the cleaning was completed protesters would no longer be allowed to have sleeping bags in the park, or even lie down in the park. Understanding that the cleaning was a pretext for ending the encampment, protesters were cleaning all day and night, in an attempt to both call Brookfield's bluff and to prove to officials that they are capable of keeping the park clean themselves. Over 200,000 people signed a petition started by Moveon.org last night asking Bloomberg not to kick the protesters out.
This morning, thousands of people gathered at Zuccotti Park to attempt to hold the park against the cleaning. The mood was tense but jubilant. The park was barricaded off on all sides, and there were only two places to enter or exit the park. As such, the Lawyers Guild, who were walking around the park arming protesters (literally handing out sharpies to write on their arms) with the number for the Lawyers Guild; they were preparing for everyone to be arrested. However, at approximately 6am, an announcement was made at Zuccotti that the cleaning had been postponed. Cheers began and the protest became a celebration.
According to a statement that Cas Holloway, NYC deputy mayor, released early this morning, Brookfield Office Properties informed the city that they are not only postponing the cleaning for the time being, but they are also withdrawing their request for police assistance in clearing the park. It could not be more clear that the Occupy Wall Street protest has won a decisive victory this morning.
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