Judge upholds eviction of Wall Street protesters

NEW YORK Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:20pm EST

1 of 20. Bill Talen, known as Reverend Billy (C), delivers a speech to members of the Occupy Wall Street movement as they return to Zuccotti Park in New York November 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A judge upheld New York City's legal justification for evicting Occupy Wall Street protesters from a park on Tuesday when police in riot gear broke up a two-month-old demonstration against economic inequality.

Protesters will be allowed to return but Justice Michael Stallman found the city, at least for now, can legally ban protesters from camping in tents and sleeping bags at the park between Wall Street and the World Trade Center under reconstruction in lower Manhattan.

Protesters occupied Zuccotti Park to protest what they see as an unjust economic system that favors the wealthiest 1 percent at a time of persistently high employment, decrying a political system that bailed out banks after reckless lending sparked the financial crisis.

The Occupy Wall Street movement triggered similar protests in cities throughout the United States and the world.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided the protesters had become a health and fire safety hazard and ordered police to evict them from the camp, where city officials cited reports of sexual assaults, thefts and drug dealing.

Hundreds of police stormed the camp around 1 a.m. and dismantled tents, tarpaulins, outdoor furniture, mattresses and signs, arresting 147 people, including about a dozen who had chained themselves to each other and to trees.

With the park cleared of protesters and barricades, sanitation workers dismantled tents, hauled away trash and blasted the square with water cannon, erasing odors of urine and human waste.

City officials were set to allow protesters back in without tents and sleeping bags but then it received notice of a court challenge, at which point it left the barricades up pending legal clarification.

In London, authorities said they were resuming legal action to try to shift anti-capitalism protesters who have set up camp at St Paul's Cathedral.

Toronto officials also told protesters to leave on Tuesday.

The New York eviction followed similar actions in Atlanta, Portland and Salt Lake City. Unlike in Oakland, California, where police used tear gas and stun grenades, New York police said most protesters left peacefully. (Additional reporting by Clare Baldwin; Writing by Daniel Trotta and Michelle Nichols)

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Comments (77)
OneOfTheSheep wrote:
Two months, no coherent message, no coherent goal(s), freak show over.

If they return without tents, etc. anybody can say they were “there”. Big deal. So what? Ho hum.

Nov 15, 2011 2:37am EST  --  Report as abuse
Peripeton wrote:
The ones that do not realise what is happening in the world are either blinded by fanaticism and propaganda or they have been sleeping underground for the past 11 months.

The youth is uprising against a destructive system that is putting our own existence on the line. They will not be silenced because they have understood that it is a matter of survival.

Whoever does not see a coherent message about justice and true democracy, sustainability and peace, has been closing their ears to reality.

In any case we will prevail; let us at least do it orderly and with a plan so that pain and violence is avoided.

Nov 15, 2011 3:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
Gillyp wrote:
These movements need a leader someone who can articulate the message.

Nov 15, 2011 4:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
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