Duecento arrestati nello sgombero degli indignados da Zuccotti Park a New York

martedì, novembre 15th, 2011

All’inizio sembravano pochi arresti, qualche minuto fa il New York Times ha scritto che sono diventati 200. Mano durissima dunque per lo sgombero degli indignados americani da  Zuccotti Park, ufficialmente voluto dal sindaco Bloomberg per ragioni igieniche, già tentato in passato e poi sospeso. Nella notte l’evacuazione di OccupyWallStreet. Ecco l’articolo del NYT del 15.11.2011:

Police Clear Zuccotti Park of Protesters

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Tuesday defended his decision to clear the park in Lower Manhattan that was the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, saying “health and safety conditions became intolerable” in the park where the protesters had camped out for nearly two months. Mr. Bloomberg said the city had planned to reopen the park on Tuesday morning after the protesters’ tents and tarps had been removed and the stone steps had been cleaned. He said the police had already let about 50 protesters back in when officials received word of a temporary restraining order sought by lawyers for the protesters. He said the police had closed the park again until lawyers for the city could appear at a court hearing later in the morning.

“New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself,” the mayor said. “What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.” He said the protesters had taken over the park, “making it unavailable to anyone else.”

The mayor’s comments at a City Hall news conference came about seven hours after hundreds of police officers moved in to clear the park after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest. The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!”

The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said that nearly 200 people had been arrested, 142 in the park at 50 to 60 in the streets nearby. Most were held on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, among them City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat who represents northern Manhattan. He was with a group near the intersection of Broadway and Vesey Street that was attempting to link up with the protesters in the park. The group tried to push through a line of officers trying to prevent people from reaching the park. The operation in and around the park struck a blow to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which saw the park as its spiritual heart. The sweep was intended to empty the birthplace of a protest movement that has inspired hundreds of tent cities from coast to coast. On Monday in Oakland, Calif., hundreds of police officers raided the main encampment there, arresting 33 people. Protesters returned later in the day. But the Oakland police said no one would be allowed to sleep there anymore, and promised to clear a second camp nearby.

The police action was quickly challenged as lawyers for the protesters obtained a temporary restraining order barring the city and the park’s private landlord from evicting protesters or removing their belongings. It was not immediately clear how the city would respond. The judge, Justice Lucy Billings of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, scheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

The mayor, at his news conference, read a statement he had issued around 6 a.m. explaining the reasoning behind the sweep. “The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day,” the mayor said in the statement. “Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with” because the protesters had taken over the park, “making it unavailable to anyone else.”

“I have become increasingly concerned — as had the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties — that the occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protesters and to the surrounding community,” Mr. Bloomberg said. He added that on Monday, Brookfield asked the city to assist in enforcing “the no sleeping and camping rules.

“But make no mistake,” the mayor said, “the final decision to act was mine and mine alone.”

Some of the displaced protesters regrouped a few blocks away at Foley Square, with the row of courthouses on Centre Street as a backdrop, and swapped stories of their confrontations with the police as they talked about what to do next.

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