“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — The First Amendment
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.
Campers were ordered to remove all their tents. Police claimed it was a health issue.
Hundreds of New York City police officers early Tuesday cleared the park in Lower Manhattan that had been the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, arresting dozens of people there after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest.
The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!”
The massive operation in and around Zuccotti Park was intended to empty the birthplace of a protest movement that inspired hundreds of tent cities from coast to coast. On Monday in Oakland, Calif., hundreds of police officers raided the main encampment there, arresting 33 people. Protesters returned later in the day. But the Oakland police said no one would be allowed to sleep there anymore, and promised to clear a second camp nearby.
lau-ra-sau-rus: FYI the bull has been surrounded by cops.
@NewYorkObserver “Here with credentialed photogs from NYT, WSJ, and Reuters; they’re also being barred.”
fearandwar: They’re locking up citizens in their own houses. Jesus Christ. Is that even legal?
inothernews: New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly was personally on hand to supervise the dismantling of the tents in Zuccotti Park.
inothernews: WITHOUT PREJUDICE Once inside Zuccotti Park, police tore down the tents and tarps that had housed Occupy Wall Street protesters for two months. (Photo: Robert Stolarik / The New York Times)
inothernews: Zuccotti Park has been cleared. But as an Occupy Oakland demonstrator said, “The movement is about more than just the space here.”
NYPD reportedly will allow protestors back into Zuccotti Park later this morning, but without tents and sleeping bags.
SEE LIVESTREAM: Occupy Wall Street protesters, having been evicted from Zuccotti Park, have massed in Foley Square just north of Zuccotti Park and City Hall.
More updates here…