Since September 17, the protest movement calling itself Occupy Wall Street has been encamped in Zuccotti Park, a patch of concrete and greenery amid the towering buildings of Lower Manhattan. That nearly came to an end Friday morning.
Zuccotti Park is tailor-made for an occupation protest in the vicinity of Wall Street. The space is owned by a private corporation, but donated to the city for public use. It never closes, unlike many parks in New York City, and the movement can remain as long as they stay on the good side of Brookfield Properties.
But on October 12, Brookfield sent a letter to Ray Kelly, Commissioner of the NYPD, asking for assistance clearing the park so that it could be cleaned. Most of the protesters, some of whom are veterans of the City Hall occupation last summer protesting city budget cuts, saw the order as a prelude to eviction. They vowed to stand their ground, and in the words of one speaker, “defend this park that is our home.”
Ishaan Tharoor and I covered this morning’s dramatic shift that will allow the protest to continue for now. Tomorrow, Occupy Wall Street will partner with other groups for marches and rallies as part of the Global Day of Action, which was called for by the indignados of Spain who are protesting austerity measures in their country. There are rallies planned in several parks and a big march in Times Square, the neon-lit center of capitalism in the western world. Check out NewsFeed and @naterawlings on Twitter for updates on the day of action and onward.