Good Reason to Block Clean Up? Occupy Wall Street Says, Yes! - Page 2
To his credit, Mayor Bloomberg, apparently sympathetic with the protesters, though he easily falls into the 1% category of richest, most political of Americans, informed the protesters on Wednesday evening about the impending Friday event by speaking to them in person. Clearly, he wanted to show the activists that he was close and accessible. And owner of Zuccotti has done its part to support the protesters in a statement release,
"Brookfield respects the rights of free speech, assembly, and peaceful protest," (Reuters) The company also said that the park had become unsafe and unsanitary because of how it had been used in the last few weeks. (Caroline May, Daily Caller)
But the Brookfield company can take "the high ground," with these platitudinous statements because it knows it can fall back on Zuccotti park's rules in support of its actions against the protesters. Park rules "ban camping, tents or other structures, lying down on the ground, placing tarps or sleeping bags on the ground and the storage of personal property." (Reuters, Daily Caller) Now, the one item park rules DON'T ban is people staying in the park during the daytime, or standing and/or sitting upright in the park in the evening. But everything else that the protesters have been doing to establish their presence since they took the ground on September 17th can be viewed as a violation and subject to the rule of law.
It is obvious that the police are empathetic with the activists, most probably because as unionists, they are not in the 1% and can identify, facing the same issues the rest of the 99% are facing. With their city union consistently negotiating lower salaries and benefits than surrounding LI counties, an easier job for higher pay, they have said they will be around to ensure public order. The message is that it is up to Brookfield Office Properties to safeguard park rules. If laws are broken or if an official complaint is made by the park owners, then it is police responsibility to see the complaint through and uphold the law. But that's it.
Because of the impending "temporary" eviction for Friday, gradually, protesters on Thursday began to clean up the area on their own. (New York Times, City Room, Anemona Hartocollis) Volunteers sectioned off the park to clean. Others hauled off garbage and others scrubbed walkways, according to Hartocollis. Some said if their sleeping bags and tents were taken from them, they would sleep in the area sitting up. Others disagreed saying that would cause "burn-out" which could backfire against them when broadcast journalists and camera persons made them look crazy on TV. (New York Times, City Room)Continued on the next page