Zuccotti Park cleanup postponed for Occupy Wall Street protests to continue
NY TIMES BLOG: The cleanup of the Lower Manhattan park that has been occupied by protesters for nearly a month was canceled Friday shortly before it was supposed to begin, averting a feared showdown between the police and demonstrators who had vowed to resist any efforts to evict them from their encampment.
The announcement was made by the Bloomberg administration around 6:20 a.m., about 40 minutes before workers were scheduled to enter Zuccotti Park, which has been the home base for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators angered by what they see as an unfair and corrupt financial system.
“Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park —Brookfield Properties — that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation,” Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement.
Our position has been consistent throughout: the City’s role is to protect public health and safety, to enforce the law, and guarantee the rights of all New Yorkers. Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation.
Ryan Gaffney, 22, Gowanus:
“I think it is a victory for all of us,” said Ryan Gaffney, 22, from Brooklyn. “We are here in unity working together.”
Steve Sachs, of Hightsown, N.J., said, “I did not come here to look for a fight. I’ve never been in a fight in my life. I’ve never been arrested. But I was ready to be arrested over this.”
Hundreds had gathered overnight in anticipation of what might happen on Friday, while others continued cleaning the park, which Brookfield Properties complained had become filthy and a potential health threat.