United States: Unexpected Eviction of Occupy Wall Street Protest

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

On the morning of November 15, 2011, New Yorkers woke up to news that Occupy Wall Street protesters had been evicted from Zuccotti Park without prior notice by police forces, who, under orders from Mayor Bloomberg, laid waste to everything along their path from sleeping bags to food stocks and the tents where protesters slept.

The eviction also resulted in close to 140 arrests and a judicial order that prohibits Occupy Wall Street members from taking up the park again, a measure that city employees have dedicated to cleaning the area.

According to the Bloomberg administration, the eviction plans were carried out with extreme caution following unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the movement. According to local reports, the mayor's administration decided to evacuate the park after finding irregularities in security measures, along with possible sanitary issues.

Currently many wonder about the future of the movement now that it has been deprived of a camping ground, but protesters promise to be stronger than ever. There are lots of planned activities for the global protest, set to occur today November 17.

Esta imagen tomada el 15 de noviembre alrededor de las 9:15 a.m. muestra la evacuación total que fuerzas policiales realizaron en Zuccotti Park horas antes. Foto de David Shankbone en Flickr (CC-BY NC 2.0)

This image, taken on November 15 at approximately 9:15 a.m., shows the complete eviction that police forces pushed through in Zuccotti Park hours before. Photo by David Shankbone on Flickr (CC-BY NC 2.0)

As usual, various opinions are circulating in the blogosphere and on social networks.  James Dowie, from the PostPartisan blog, affirms that Bloomberg's ordered eviction is deplorable:

All this while, as Matt Taibbi put it last week, “in the skyscrapers above the protests, anything goes.” Nobody arrested the bankers for pushing fraudulent loans and subprime mortgage investments, or the ratings agencies and government regulators that neglected their duties and helped Wall Street crash the global economy. But putting tents in a public park? Time to bring out the batons and pepper spray.

Poster for the November 17 protest placed on Wall Street.  Taken from occupywallstreet.org. To be freely distributed.

Poster for the November 17 protest placed on Wall Street. Taken from occupywallstreet.org. To be freely distributed.

Rebelión [es] blog states that protests like Occupy never sit well with the elite:

Este asunto de invadir calles y plazas con pretextos tan exóticos como exigir empleos, mejor educación, servicios de salud o un poco de escrúpulos en el manejo de las finanzas es algo que a la “gente de bien” nunca le ha parecido bien.

This idea of invading streets and plazas with exotic pretexts like demanding employment, better education, healthcare services or a bit of care in financial management is something that never seems good to the “well-to-do people.”

On Twitter, George Zornick (@gzornick) reproaches the fact that the eviction happened so early in the morning:

NYC authorities clearly feel #OWS eviction is just and reasonable. That's why they are doing it at 2am and barring all press.

Some Latino Twitter users, like Al-Dabi Olvera (@Aldabi) [es], declared their support for Occupy Wall Street:

Desalojan a los compañeros de @OccupyWallSt , 70 detenidos http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2011/11/15/8181119-desaloja-policia-a-indignados-de-occupy-wall-street @OccupyBMV @MxTomaLaCalle

The Occupy Wall Street account (@OccupyWallStNYC) suggests that they have not let their guard down just yet:

Look at how far we've come. And we're just getting started… #ows #winning

Renowned New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) questions Bloomberg's behavior:

Bloomberg has generally been a very impressive mayor over the years, but lately his #OWS approach is hamhanded.

Luke Adams (@luketadams) sarcastically compares Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party:

Hey #occupy movement, I know how you can be left alone by the cops. Hang a tea bag from your hat. Then they'll let you do anything. #ows

Finally, Ted Alexandro (@tedalexandro) expresses his contempt before the lack of free press:

No matter how you feel about #OWS, I hope the absolute disregard for freedom of the press during tonight's raid on the park gives you pause.

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.


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