Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Relocates To Union Square Park - NYPD Moves Them Out Wednesday Morning


Cops pushing people, Occupy Wall Street activists / OWSters, out of Union Square saying "park is closed."
Dozens of NYPD cops oust between 200- 300 Occupy Wall Street protesters out of Union Square Park early Wednesday morning preventing them from sleeping in the park. Officers also seized books and other materials. At around 11:50pm police announced they were going to be closing the park. Police set up barricades and moved protestors out of the park's southern plaza and onto the sidewalk along 14th Street. (Photo: Edgar Sandoval/New York Daily News)

Norman Siegel, a longtime civil rights lawyer said that some public parks, including Union Square – with a long history of civil disobedience – have a 1 a.m. curfew, but that the police tend to enforce those rules selectively, which adds uncertainty and confusion about what rights apply for peaceful protest.

Police secured Union Square Park's southern plaza early Wednesday morning where they erected barricades along the southern perimeter. The iconic statue of George Washington can be seen in the background. In all, six protesters were taken into custody after the hours-long face-off on a range of charges, including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, according to a spokesman for the New York Police Department as reported by the New York Times. (Photo: Courtesy @OccupyWallStNYC) via gothamist


Cops rousted about 300 Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Union Square Park early Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.

One person was arrested.

A protester being taken away by officers at Union Square Park.
A protester being taken away by officers at Union Square Park. “We’re getting into the spring and there needs to be a meeting between Mayor Bloomberg, the police and O.W.S. and civil rights lawyers,” said longtime civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel. (Photo: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times)

“The cornerstone of a democracy is the right to protest. We need leadership of bringing people together. The O.W.S. people are not going to disappear, and the police are here, obviously. Why stay on a road to confrontation?” He said the tension was building between the Occupy protesters and the police officers. “We’re going to see more demonstrations,” he said, but city leaders must work to avoid the potential for violent confrontations. “The mayor seems to have a tin ear on this.”

The demonstrators moved into the camp on Saturday, continuing the protest against economic inequality that started this summer in Zuccotti Park.

"The park will be closing as of midnight. If you don't leave, you will be arrested,” an NYPD captain warned late Tuesday.

Dozens of cops — some in riot gear — surrounded the park and ushered the protesters to the sidewalk.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Amanda DeRoller, 22, a protester from Harlem. "I don't understand why we can’t be here. Usually the park is open 24 hours. Now they want us out, because Bloomberg says so. It makes no sense."

The group quickly gathered to figure out their next move at an impromptu public meeting.

"No one is doing anything wrong," said Lina Cigno, 21, of Washington, D.C. "We just want a place to protest. They are trying to get us out."

  Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are occupying a new venue, the southern part of Union Square Park.

Earlier in the day Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were occupying a new venue, the southern part of Union Square Park. Police escorted them out however early in the morning. (Photo: Marcus Santos for the New York Daily News)

Cigno said the police had no justification for the eviction. "One girl was hitting her tambourine too hard?" she asked sarcastically.

Dozens of cops surrounded the edge of the park. At least two FDNY ambulances showed up, fearing violence.

The crowd stood at the edge of the park chanting "Zuccotti is everywhere."

The Occupiers had hoped to set up a permanent encampment, like the one on Wall Street, from which to organize more protests.

City authorities were willing to tolerate the group in small numbers, but said that they cannot sit or lie down in the park if their number goes above 25.

After midnight, police barricaded the park to prevent them from returning as the crowd chanted, "We are here for you too! We know what it's like to work and not have enough to eat. We don't want to fight you!"

Occupy in Union Square
Occupy Union Square - March 19, 2012. (Photo: Jared Malsin)

Read More:

New York Times City Room - March 21, 2012 - By Al Baker and Colin Moynihan

New York Daily News -March 21, 2012 By Edgar Sandoval and Janon Fisher

New York Daily News - March 20, 2012 By Erik Badia

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