Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Police clear Liberty Square in pre-dawn raid

New York – In a post-midnight raid, hundreds of police officers handcuffed and dragged about 100 defiant #OccupyWallSt campers out of Zuccotti Park.

A core group of 200 shouted defiantly, “Whose park? Our park” as the police entered the area about 1 a.m. When they were ordered to leave, about half left the area while the remaining 100 erected barricades and locked arms.

Officers were forced to extract each protester – one by one – beginning at about 3 a.m. While the clean-up crew struck tents and hauled away the detritus of a two-month-long occupation, the crowd chanted, “No retreat. No surrender. This is our home.”

The action corresponded with that of the Oakland city administration in a response to violence that has taken place over the past few days, including multiple rapes in New York and a killing by gunshot in Oakland.

In New York, the mayor’s office sent out a message on Twitter at 1:19 a.m. saying: “Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protesters can return after the park is cleared.” Fliers handed out by the police at the private park on behalf of the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties, and the city, spelled out the same message.

Occupiers promised to regroup at 9 a.m. on the corner of Canal and 6th Avenue, spreading the word by social media that "This idea is too big to be confined to a one-block square in lower Manhattan." They plan a city-wide protest on Thursday by occupying the area of Wall Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange and the city's subway system at 16 hub stations located in all 5 boroughs.

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