Streams

Protesters Dig in as Park Owner Seeks Their Eviction

Monday, September 26, 2011

WNYC
Police watching over the demonstrators in Zuccotti Park

Following 80 arrests over the weekend, organizers of an anti-Wall Street demonstration are now facing possible eviction from the Lower Manhattan park that has been their unofficial base of operations for the past 10 days.

Hundreds of members of the group Occupy Wall Street have protested in Zuccotti Park, a space on Broadway and Liberty streets owned by real estate company, Brookfield Properties, which is hoping the protesters will move on.

“The park is intended for the use and enjoyment of the general public for passive recreation," a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, Melissa Coley, said in a statement.

“We are extremely concerned with the conditions that have been created by those currently occupying the park and are actively working with the City of New York to address these conditions and restore the park to its intended purpose.”

New rules were posted over the weekend forbidding the use of sleeping bags, lying down or storing personal property in the park. But protesters like Justin Wedes said they have no plans to move just yet.

“It seems like an attempt, a half-hearted attempt," Wedes said. "I almost want to say, to try to intimidate us to leave, but the reality is that we’re deep into our work, and we’re not planning to leave anytime soon.”

Patrick Bruner with Occupy Wall Street said hundreds slept there Sunday night with no trouble. He added that if the protesters were evicted, they have at least one alternate site in place.

The police department would not comment on plans to evict the protesters.

The NYPD has been criticized for using pepper spray against four women during the demonstrations as they made large-scale arrests over the weekend.

(Photo: A sign posted at Zuccotti Park on September 27, 2011. Arun Venugopal/WNYC)

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Comments [11]

james from Los Angeles

I have voted on principle since I was 18. I am 30 now, and I am realizing that the principles I was voting for as a Republican aren't serving me. The rich aren't ashamed to vote for their self-interests, neither should we. I'm voting for what improves my standard of living here and now. After all, the chances of me earning my way into the top 1% is all too minute. You have the same chances of winning the lottery whether you play or not. The American Dream is a propagandized perversion of Capitalism. We are not fighting the rich individuals, we are fighting the rich corporations. The same corporations that lobby heavily for their interests. They are not obligated to exist as job-makers, they are obligated to make a profit, even at the expense of American workers and families. I have no problem picking myself up, but damn it, make sure my boots have straps!

Oct. 01 2011 05:37 PM
David Lee from Detroit, MI

Democracy is messy. You don't need a leader to be free. This country was founded on the principle of freedom, not obeisance to a leader.

Sep. 30 2011 03:44 PM

I've heard the story three times now on NPR and every time I hear the protestor say he's quit his job and come from California to protest Wall Street, I could scream. First, with so many out of work, he can afford to just walk off the job? Second, I'd say that most people who have earned (yes earned) those larger salaries actually work long hours. They don't just bail and go have a party in New York and call it a protest. Further, you could afford a ticket out here to clutter up our streets? I say-- get that return ticket out and go home.
Further, for those who forget, the financial center of the world, here in NY provides a good living for more than the banker. Glad they're here in NYC.
And one more thing: are you listening to ths bunch of mindless drones, repeating their "fearless leader" about where to spit their toothpaste? Go get a job, or if you have one, get back to work. Or if you would protest, put your support behind something that's really meaningful. And give me a break!

Sep. 27 2011 10:28 PM

I've heard the story three times now on NPR and every time I hear the protestor say he's quit his job and come from California to protest Wall Street, I could scream. First, with so many out of work, he can afford to just walk off the job? Second, I'd say that most people who have earned (yes earned) those larger salaries actually work long hours. They don't just bail and go have a party in New York and call it a protest. Further, you could afford a ticket out here to clutter up our streets? I say-- get that return ticket out and go home.
Further, for those who forget, the financial center of the world, here in NY provides a good living for more than the banker. Glad they're here in NYC.
And one more thing: are you listening to ths bunch of mindless drones, repeating their "fearless leader" about where to spit their toothpaste? Go get a job, or if you have one, get back to work. Or if you would protest, put your support behind something that's really meaningful. And give me a break!

Sep. 27 2011 10:28 PM
Tired, but working from NY

I think I speak for many when I say that I wish I could afford to take time off to stand there with them.

This real-life triage is what's been holding Americans at bay, and keeping most of us from speaking above an exhausted grumble. The holders, movers and shakers of our corporatocracy know it all too well. Growing, maintaining, and deploying superior resources against an exhausted populace (target) is their go-to paradigm for keeping things going their way, and maximizing what can be siphoned off from us.

We will only fix this mess when we stop exhausting ourselves and our budgets with marketed distractions, and re-enter real life with our full attention. (This engineered exhaustion is a major factor in the protesters' apparent lack of focus -- these people are still emerging from the haze, albeit ahead of the rest of us.)

Again, I wish I felt I had a real choice to help. But most of us would be neglecting responsibilities or risking loss of job to do so.  ( I just used my allotted lunchtime to add this comment.)

Sep. 27 2011 05:23 PM
FutureWorld

OK, here's my perspective...

I understand people's confusion or frustration because they see the movement as unfocused. However, this is a movement about systemic problems. It's not just about one or two issues, about changing a law or tweaking a section of the tax code.

This is about a sense of large-scale inequality, powerlessness, and misaligned priorities. It's about a corrupt and dysfunctional government, a heartless economic system, and a population that for too long has given up their power to the elites.

It's hard to sum that up in a bumper-sticker slogan. People have seen so many single-issue protests, and there's a feeling that it's time for something bigger.

With that said, there are efforts every single day to develop a specific list of demands (not necessarily the ONLY demands, but the top priorities to rally around). It's being discussed online and at the general assemblies in the park. The people in this movement specifically did not want to just fall in line behind some list of goals created by a small group of "leaders" or "experts." They wanted to figure these things out TOGETHER. Yes, that may take longer, and might look a little messy sometimes. But the hope is that this will result in a mission that truly reflects the will of the people.

In the mean time, educating, speaking, marching, creating art, and just modeling democratic processes on the ground IS the mission... A few hundred people aren't going to shut down Wall Street, everyone knows that, but if they can build the movement, they have a chance at real change.

Will this work? No one knows yet. But seeing how many other things have been tried and failed, it seems like it's worth giving something new a chance.

Sep. 27 2011 03:44 PM
New Yorker

It's more important that what's missing from this story are who, what, when, where and why. Who are Occupy Wall Street? What do they want? Who is their spokesperson? Do they have specific demands? Are they trying to change specific laws? Are they just people with nothing else to do hanging out imagining they are revolutionaries which is what it looks like on Livestream? Susan Sarandon was there today and said she was there "trying to find out what they're trying to do." Are they going to tell anyone? Are they mad at politicians, stock brokers, bankers? Which ones? What is the average guy on his way to his job at Wall Street supposed to do for them? What do they want them to do or change? If they could intelligently articulate their stand, i.e. we want x and we will occupy this park against the law until x it would help them gain support. There are no politicians there supporting them because nobody knows what they want. Is one of them going to run for office? What will they do for the American people? I cherish our democracy and believe we should all have our say but there are intelligent ways of having a demonstration, such as the one against taking money away from Planned Parenthood which happened downtown which was peaceful, had a large crowd, many politicians there to support it, nobody got arrested because we were not there to taunt the police, only to make our position heard, and we were successful. I am not happy with certain aspects of the way our economy works but I am sure rendering a public park unusable by the public will not in itself change anything or even let anyone know what I think.

Sep. 27 2011 11:38 AM
Greg

Really, NPR? Widespread abuse and brutality committed by NYPD officers on nonviolent protesters, clear documentation of this across the internet, and this is the only related story you report on? This is shameful negligence by a formerly reputable news source.

Sep. 27 2011 10:53 AM
john from office

Beofre you bad mouth an NYPD officer, remember that they are public servants like the teachers and are just workers doing their jobs.

If you disclose their names, addresses and names of members of their families, you endanger them, causing them to feel endangered, so they can defend themselves with force. Is that really the answer??

Sep. 27 2011 07:45 AM
Thomas J. Hillgardner

I am more concerned for his daughter.

Sep. 26 2011 10:46 PM
Farrish Carter from NYC

I'm a street photographer, about to head down and give my support. Quit living online folks--let's join in the struggle!

Sep. 26 2011 10:23 PM

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