City: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Must Agree to Cleaning Or Get Out [Updated]

bloomberg at ows.jpg
via DJ Unicorn Thunder Hearts
Mayor Bloomberg visiting Occupy Wall Street.
Yesterday evening Mayor Bloomberg visited Occupy Wall Street for a while, walking through the park and viewing the inhabitants (we missed him by about five minutes). What he saw combined with complaints from Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, has led the city to demand that the protesters clear the area Friday so it can be cleaned. Brookfield sent a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly arguing that the conditions in the park have become "unsanitary and unsafe" and pose a danger to the occupants and their neighbors:

Brookfield's Letter to NYPD asking to "clear" Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters

Bloomberg's office's statement after his visit reads, in part:

The Mayor is a strong believer in the First Amendment and believes that the protesters have a right to continue to protest. At the same time, the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park. This situation is not in the best interests of the protesters, residents or the City.

The cleaning will be done in stages and the protesters will be able to return to the areas that have been cleaned, provided they abide by the rules that Brookfield has established for the park.

The cleaning is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Last night at Zuccotti, the OWS Sanitation working group was locked in heated discussion over the news that the city planned to intervene in cleaning the park -- something they'd thought was their job. One woman in a purple fleece hat held court, saying that Sanitation didn't need help and that the Mayor's actions were disrespectful.

But Max Hodes, 28, a hoodie-clad member of Sanitation who's been at the park since Day 1, told the Voice that "we've already planned a similar effort for after the rain."

"A total camp cleanup is already in the works," he said. "But when they show up, we're going to say 'thank you for your help.' It's an endorsement of Occupy Wall Street sanitation, not the other way around."

Hodes is in the minority. It seems that OWS at large isn't ready to accept tomorrow's cleaning. They're not planning to comply with the city's orders:

On Wednesday/Thursday, all campers/supporters should reach out to friends/family/anyone to donate or purchase brooms, mops, squeegees, dust pans, garbage bags, power washers and any other cleaning supplies to be collected at sanitation. The sanitation committee should move full-speed ahead on purchase of bins allocated by consensus at GA.

After General Assembly on Thursday, we'll have a full-camp cleanup session. Sanitation can coordinate, and anyone who is available will help with the massive community effort! Then, Friday morning, we'll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms. If NYPD attempts to enter, we'll peacefully/non-violently stand our ground and those who are willing will get arrested.

Afterwards, we'll march with brooms and mops to Wall Street to do a massive #wallstcleanup march, where the real mess is!

Update: There's now a Facebook page for Operation #wallstcleanup. And according to Nick Pinto, OWS is holding a special General Assembly at noon to discuss how they're going to deal with the city's cleaning efforts, which are to begin tomorrow at 7 a.m.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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9 comments
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fecund mind
fecund mind

Funny that the mayor expresses having an understanding of cleanliness and safety. has he visited New York City? We in the city are given ugly aesthetic as if we don't know the difference. simply look at the subways not just ugly, dirty but also a death trap for the commuters.  In sigapore for example in order to keep the subways clean the city government gives incentives to each commuter who returns a metrocard by giving them a free ride. ours is an ingenuine system that says, the government cares about your safety provides no means to establish it. just visit the subway and the streets that look more and more like 3rd world country.

Baby
Baby

the "protesters" are a bunch of middle class hypocrites....bored and boring. It's a joke

stan chaz
stan chaz

While our .00001 percenter Mayor Bloomberg gets ready to go to sleep tonight....on his sumptuous silk sheets, in his million dollar mansion...he is trying to kill off the Occupy Wall Street protests by denying them the use of sleeping bags.....while claiming that he is the number one defender of free speech. WHAT A HYPOCRITE!!!! Instead of cleaning up the park, he should help clean up the economic and social mess created by his Wall Street brethren. His city is suffering. The Emperor has no clothes. The Emperor has NO SHAME!

Tony Buontempo
Tony Buontempo

This is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the City to end the Occupation. 

It will fail.

I go to OWS as much as possible, and all I see all the time is the occupation cleaning the park.  It is constant, it is continuous, and it is always on going.

What Bloomberg is doing makes no sense, unless you consider the worst intentions of the state.  

Kim Blake
Kim Blake

I was at the OWS area on monday photographing the days events and saw many people sweeping the sidewalks and emptying trash cans. I thought it was a well organized event and considering how many people were there it was fairly clean. I think Bloomberg doesn't know what else to do so tossing everyone out of the park so the city can clean seems like bullshit to me.

npsgirl
npsgirl

No Police State. Occupy wall street worldwide.

Buddyroo
Buddyroo

Bloomberg really knows how to give them what they want. 

Dave
Dave

The General Public Flyer for the Occupy Wall Street Events is located at:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6...

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6...

 It was translated from the original Arab Spring fliers and updated for the current action. A great flier to hand out to new protesters or others.

Print unlimited copies and hand them out at the edges of the events. Grab the photo file and resend it to everybody you can.

Google: "VOIP Party Line" to see a number of modern technologies to create a live event partyline to get past PA permit issues.

Alan Scouten
Alan Scouten

I also visited the encampment at Zucotti Park, and found it to be beautifully visually-chaotic, and surprisingly clean.c I can find more trash and excrement uptown in NY than in Zucotti Park. To the acid-tounged belittlers of those of our children, who like us a generation before, stood up to malefeasance and disregard for the 99% then, let me remind you that the same folks in 1750 were called "patriots". They looked a bit scruffy too, but they built spontaneously the very villages that you now proudly claim as your heritage. May I suggest you consider helping these New Settlers with their aspirations, and their sanitation needs, rather than dumping on them?

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