Hours after police officers evicted hundreds of protesters from Zuccotti Park , a judge ordered that they be allowed to return.
Nearly two months from the inaugural protest date, NYPD officers moved into the lower Manhattan park, forcing out protesters as cleaning crews moved in. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the matter on his website and assured that the move was only temporary. “Protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”
Patrick Macleod, a member of the Occupy movement who arrived on site shortly after the police had cleared out the space, reported several skirmishes and use of tear gas by police in the early morning confrontation.
“Everybody kind of split off into different groups, then there was four or five separate groups,” he told MTV News about the aftermath. “I was with a group that went down to the Town Hall area, and we held the park there; that’s where I spent the night. It felt like we waited the cops out, but they may have just been teasing us or something.”
After dispersing, the Occupy Wall Street website called for an assembly on nearby Canal Street. Around 10 a.m., hundreds of protesters returned to march around the still-police-occupied, privately owned park, claiming their right to occupy the space.
On site, MTV News witnessed a few arrests of protesters who tampered with barricades or tried to invade the park; they were forcibly removed by police.
“Earlier today, the Supreme Court of New York said they put a temporary injunction saying that we could go back into the park. They also said that the police and the fire department could not stop us,” one protester told MTV News. “We are allowed back in.”
Share your thoughts about the Occupy raid in the comments below.