Occupy Protesters Return to Zuccotti Park After Judge Orders Eviction
A ruling on Tuesday, Nov. 15 banned camping equipment from the movement, but allowed activists to continue their occupation as an expression of free speech.
Protestors on Occupy Wall Street were faced with more obstacles on Tuesday, Nov. 15 when police raided Zuccotti Park in the early hours before dawn. Protestors were evicted from the park and stripped of their camping equipment after a judge ruled in favor of New York City and park owner Brookfield Office Properties Inc. Approximately 200 protestors were arrested.
Later that day, the two parties faced off against Occupy Wall Street Reps in the courtroom. Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman ultimately sided with the city, ruling that camping in the park was not free speech protected by the First Amendment, though protestors could return to the park without their tents and other equipment, reports the Wall Street Journal. The park remained closed through the majority of the day, with hundreds of protestors awaiting the judge’s decision outside a barricaded area and others staging an impromptu rally nearby, which resulted in several additional arrests.
Meanwhile, approximately 100 members of the Occupy LA movement broke from their main encampment to march through a downtown street and show unity with their New York counterpart. There were no arrests or use of force.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a news conference that afternoon, in which he expressed concern over the healthy and safety conditions in the park, according to the New York Times.
“New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself,” he said. “What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.”
The park was reopened shortly after dark, allowing protestors to return to their movement in a single file line. According to a post on OccupyWallStreet.org, NYPD are currently occupying Liberty Square with unclear demands.