The Clampdown

Courtesy @Newyorkist (via DNAinfo)

Hundreds of New York City police officers cleared Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday, arresting dozens of people there after warning them that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” before the morning and that any demonstrator who did not leave would be arrested. —New York Times

The flier distributed in the park said protesters would be allowed to return once the city had a chance to clean it. When they returned, however, they would not be allowed to bring their tents and sleeping bags with them. —DNAinfo

Before the police moved in, they set up a battery of klieg lights and aimed them into the park. —NYT

The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!” as officers began moving in and tearing down tents. The protesters rallied around an area known as the kitchen, near the middle of the park and began building barricades with tables and pieces of scrap wood. [...] A core group of more than 100 hunkered down at the encampment’s kitchen area, linking arms, waving flags, and singing and chanting their refusal to leave the park. They sang “We Shall Overcome,” and chanted at the officers to “disobey your orders.” —NYT

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. —New York Daily News

City sanitation workers tossed protesters’ belongings into metal bins, while some protesters dug in at the center of the park by using heavy bicycle chains to bind themselves to park trees and to each other. Some donned gas masks and goggles. —NYT

“We were crowded into the kitchen … and they trampled us,” said protester Stevie Bates, 18, of the Bronx. “I was hyperventilating. People were on top of me. I was screaming.” Bates said she was eventually dragged out to the street by cops. They were dragging protesters out “like rag dolls,” said Chris Porter, 26, who was also in the kitchen tent. Police were pulling them “by their hair and legs,” he said. —DNAinfo

The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, stood on a ledge and watched it all. —NYT

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, told The Associated Press that 70 people had been arrested in the park, including some who had chained themselves together. —NYT

A spokesman for City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said the upper Manhattan representative was hurt during the evictions. In another incident, a police officer was seen being taken away from Zuccotti Park on a stretcher with cuts on his face. [...] Paul Newell, 36, who’s a Democratic district leader for the area around Zuccotti Park, [...] had come down to be an intermediary between protesters and police. But when he got there, police “shoved me with the riot shield, jabbed me a few times with the nightstick, threw me against a car and arrested me,” he said. He said he was taken to One Police Plaza, charged with obstructing government administration and released. —DNAinfo

The cops were followed by Sanitation workers, one of whom was overheard saying, “We’re gonna disinfect the hell out of this place.” —New York Post

A number of other arrests were reported just outside the park, as police tried to move supporters of the protesters away from the park. Details were not immediately available. There were several additional arrests after the park was cleared when protesters who refused to leave a nearby street were taken into custody. —NYT

About 200 supporters of the protesters arrived early Tuesday after hearing that the park was being cleared. They were prevented from getting within a block of the park by a police barricade. There were a number of arrests after some scuffles between the two sides, but no details were immediately available. After being forced up Broadway by the police, some of the supporters decided to march several blocks to Foley Square. —NYT

Torn pieces of cardboard protest signs fluttered in the wind. Much of the debris was tossed into garbage trucks, and the sound of their crunching machines could be heard. —DNAinfo

“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.” —New York Daily News

3 Comments

  1. Amazing summary . . . thanks for doing this.

  2. Well done! Readers know you’ve had your issues with OWS (as has your sweet puppy), but this country’s gotten very little done without vocal public protest, and more importantly, the free flow of information. Your recognition that this may be one of those pivotal moments is admirable, and I thank you.

  3. Thank you for this.