In an unexpected move, the New York City Police Department descended on Zuccotti Park around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, proceeding to evict protesters, clear the park and arrest those that stood in their way.Over the weekend cops in Oakland, Portland and Denver also kicked campers out of their Obamavilles. Looks like the novelty has worn off.
Police told demonstrators that the 2-month-old camp must be temporarily emptied for cleaning, citing "health and fire safety" hazards, and that protesters could either leave on their own volition or stay and be arrested and stripped of their belongings. By 4 a.m., the park was cleared and hundreds of protesters, uncertain of their next move and blocked by police barricades, wandered the financial district.
According to The Associated Press, 70 arrests had already been made.
While police say protesters will be allowed back in the park in the morning, their tents will not, according to an eviction notice handed to occupiers.
"You are required to immediately remove all property, including tents, sleeping bags and tarps from Zuccotti Park. That means you must remove the property now," the notice read. "You will be allowed to return to the park in several hours, when this work is complete. If you decide to return, you will not be permitted to bring your tents, sleeping bags, tarps and similar materials with you."
Although the park was cleared, some protesters did not appear ready to give in to the eviction notice's demands.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa has more or less promised not to touch the camp out at City Hall, and it's rumored that #Occupy morons in colder weather cities will be headed here.
UPDATE: An idiot judge tells the city they can't enforce the regulations in the park:
Hours later, a judge granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city from enforcing rules of the plaza -- like a ban on tents and tarps -- that she said were published "after the occupation began." Bloomberg said at a City Hall briefing that the city had planned to let people back into the park at 8 a.m. but decided to keep it closed while officials evaluated the order.How could the city have avoided this? By enforcing the law from the start. When they chose to ignore the law they set the stage for a dumb ruling like this. There's part of me that hopes the city loses and gets stuck with a permanent Obamaville ruining business and property values and making Bloomberg look like the fool he is.