Just hours after Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered police to evacuate Zuccotti Park for sanitation purposes, Occupy Wall Street protesters are again returning to the center of what has become a worldwide movement.
Police evicted protesters overnight, arresting about 200 people and emptying the park by 7 a.m. A crowd of nearly 400 protesters camped out in Foley Square Tuesday morning, before moving to the corner of Sixth Avenue and Canal Street, where they continued the protest.
Bloomberg offered to reopen the park to protesters once it had been cleaned, but tents and sleeping bags were prohibited. “New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself,” he told the New York Times. “What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.” The mayor defended his decision to evacuate the park and emphasized it was his decision to close the park.
But about 200 demonstrators have headed back to Zuccotti Park, after Occupy Wall Street lawyers received a court order preventing the city and park owners from kicking out protesters. Signed by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings, the injunction means protesters can reclaim the now power-washed pavement and marbled benches of Zuccotti Park. At a news conference Bloomberg said the city was aware of the court order and planned on fighting it, according to the Associated Press.
Protesters continue to surround the park, with the New York Times reporting incidents of arrests. Confusion amid the crowd continues as police dressed in riot gear stand head to head with protesters waving copies of the court order. Plans may not be concrete, but they’re optimistic. “Plan: everything is possible,” Jonathan Smucker, a spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street, told NewsFeed in a text message.
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