New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has released a statement on the raid that took place this morning, clearing out the Occupy Wall Street protesters who took over Zuccotti Park more than two months ago.
After the park was cleared the Mayor said:
“Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”
The Mayor has been critical of the OWS demonstrators from the beginning, below is the official statement from Bloomberg.
“At one o’clock this morning, the New York City Police Department and the owners of Zuccotti Park notified protestors in the park that they had to immediately remove tents, sleeping bags and other belongings, and must follow the park rules if they wished to continue to use it to protest.
Many protestors peacefully complied and left. At Brookfield’s request, members of the NYPD and Sanitation Department assisted in removing any remaining tents and sleeping bags. This action was taken at this time of day to reduce the risk of confrontation in the park, and to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhood.
Protestors were asked to temporarily leave the park while this occurred, and have been told that they will be free to return to the park once Brookfield finishes cleaning it later this morning. Protestors – and the general public – are welcome there to exercise their First Amendment rights, and otherwise enjoy the park, but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps and, going forward, must follow all park rules.
The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day. Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with, as the park has been taken over by protestors, making it unavailable to anyone else.”
We are disheartened by the Mayor’s reaction to the expression of our first amendment right. We will continue on with the protest in spirit no matter what park we occupy. Click here to read the rest of the statement.