Finally, police remove encampment from Zuccotti Park

Cops surround Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning.

As I said weeks ago, this is the way it is with liberal politicians such as Michael Bloomberg. They let a bad situation continue on and on and get worse and worse, in the meantime adopting all kinds of pious liberal poses to justify their lack of action to fix the situation, and only take action when the problem becomes completely intolerable and has caused much harm that could have been readily avoided if they had acted sooner. That’s how they maintain their identity and legitimacy as liberals. If they had acted sooner, they would be seen as “oppressive right wingers.” By not acting until their liberal constituents’ unprincipled exceptions to their own liberalism have blossomed (“Oooh, I believe in the right of protest, I believe in fighting the greedy corporations, but I can’t stand the noise, the smell, the inconvenience any more. Help!”), they preserve their liberal credentials.

The story is from the New York Daily News. It is dated 5 p.m. November 14, which is impossible, since it tells of events happening in the early morning hours of today, November 15. (Evidently the Daily News’ computer clock is as confused up by our constantly wandering Daylight Savings Time as mine is.)

Hundreds of cops move to clear Zuccotti Park, but Occupy Wall Street protesters show defiance: ‘No retreat. No surrender!’
Cops rip down protesters’ tents
Monday, November 14 2011, 5:30 PM

Hundreds of helmeted, baton-wielding police officers moved to clear out Zuccotti Park in an under-cover-of-dark showdown early Tuesday, ripping down protesters’ tents and ordering them to get out.

Police surrounded the park around 1 AM and read a notice over a bullhorn telling the Occupy Wall St. protesters that sanitation trucks would be removing tents and other property from the site.

Protesters could return after the compulsory cleanout, cops said. [LA replies: See my note following the article which explains what this means.]

“If you fail to immediately leave the park, you will be subject to arrest,” the notice read.

But the protesters were defiant, chanting: “Who’s park? Our park! No retreat. No surrender!” About 3:30 AM cops cleared the kitchen area of the park, where protesters had formed a human chain, cuffed those arrested with plastic ties and loaded them in vans. There have been 70 to 100 arrests, according to the NYPD.

As of 4 AM at least a dozen remained in the park, chained to each other with bicycle U-locks, protester Chris Torter, 26, said.

“When the cops closed in, people tried to hold on to one another. Cops pulled people out, but we went back in,” said Jose Mediaville, 29, a former Marine from Brooklyn. “A white shirt got frustrated. He yelled, ‘Come on, let’s do this.’

“I tried to avoid them but they got me. They smashed people in the hands and broke the human chain. They lifted me up and threw me out like a rag doll,” he said.

“If they think this is the end of it, they’re crazy,” Steve Iskovitz, 51, a mental health counselor from Pittsburgh, said. “People will strike back.”

Police began tearing up the tents wholesale by about 1:45 a.m. after throwing press out of the park and corralling the protesters in the center of the park. “The police have us surrounded,” Tyrone Greenfield, 23, of Brooklyn, said as sanitation workers tossed tents into dumpsters.

One young man wearing a gas mask tore the notice up after a cop handed it to him.

“Everybody stay calm, the police want you to become violent,” protesters shouted. “Do not become violent. Pass the message.”

One protester, 32, who gave his name as Daryl W, called his mother. “We’re about to be raided I just thought I’d let you know I love you bye,” he said.

“They don’t even obey their own rules,” Frank Olivo, Bronx, 21, said. “What they’re doing is against the law.”

Some protesters sang the Beatles song “Revolution.” Helicopters flew noisily overhead. . “I have not broken the law tonight,” yelled one arrested protester, Eamon O’Rourke, as cops stuffed him into a squad car.

Another man who refused to leave his tent was dragged down the sidewalk and out of the park by cops. The Occupy Wall St. protesters sent out a message on Twitter that said cops were using pepper spray. Their tweets also claimed that City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez was beaten and bleeding from the head and that cops were sawing down trees in the square.

Police pushed reporters out of the park just as they approached a large mass of protesters who linked arms and refused to leave.

“They took oaths to protect and serve,” Jason Lee, 36 of Brooklyn, said. “They broke that oath tonight. They destroyed what we built. That’s tyranny by any definition.”

Paul Kostora, head of the medic tent, said he was working with a patient when police pulled him away.

“They pulled me out stethoscope, white coat and all as I was telling them I have a patient in there,” he said. “One girl has a heart condition and wasn’t feeling well. They manhanded her and threw her on the ground.”

The mayor’s office tweeted earlier to Occupy Wall St: “Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protesters can return after the Park is cleared.” The tweet drew some obscene responses.

The showdown came after protesters had vowed to “shut down Wall St.” on Thursday to mark two months of occupation. “It’s still on. It’ll be bigger than ever. People are mobilizing now. They’re wounded now and preparing for comeback,” said Matt Baldwin early Tuesday. A tweet from OWS suggested protesters weren’t giving up: “On our way to Union Square. See you there,”it said.

[end of article]

When the mayor and the police say that that protesters can return after the Park is cleared, what the evidently means is that they will be able to use the park in its normal manner, as a park, but will be unable to set up tents and a permanent encampment there. So this means the end of the occupation. This is what the city was about to do a month ago until Brookfield Properties was frightened by New York politicians into calling off the police action at the last minute.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 15, 2011 05:33 AM | Send

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