UPDATE, November 15, 6:43 p.m.: Prostesters were allowed back in Zuccotti park after dusk. The judge who heard the case, Justice Michael Stallman, ruled that activists were allowed back in the park, but they are not allowed to bring tents, tarps or sleeping bags and are not allowed to sleep there.
The Occupy Brooklyn movement is in full force even though the NYPD forced Occupy Wall Street protestors to vacate Zuccotti Park with all of their belongings on Tuesday morning.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed the occupiers, who have been camping out in the park for two months, which is owned by Brookfield Properties, made the privately-owned public space “intolerable” in terms of health and safety conditions.
But the eviction will not slow down the movement across the East River.
“Throughout the Occupation, the movement has grown stronger each and every time the police overreach and criminalize the 99 percent. That will be the case today, as well,” said Michael O’Neil who is a member of the Green Party and at the Atlantic Yards site. "This is just getting started."
The NYPD came to the Zuccotti Park encampment at 1 a.m. Tuesday and forced the protesters to remove their tents, sleeping bags and supplies. They were told they could come back to protest without their makeshift domiciles, once Brookfield Properties and the Department of Sanitation had cleaned the grounds.
“Unfortunately, the park was becoming a place where people came not to protest, but rather to break laws, and in some cases, to harm others,” Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday, defending his decision to clear out the park. “There have been reports of businesses being threatened and complaints about noise and unsanitary conditions that have seriously impacted the quality of life for residents and businesses in this now-thriving neighborhood.”
According to The New York Times, Bloomberg said the city had planned to reopen the park after it was cleaned on Tuesday morning. However, after police let about 50 protesters back in they closed it again after receiving a temporary restraining order filed by lawyers for the Occupy Wall Street protesters. It will not be open again until after the hearing.
Daniel Goldstein, the founder of the anti-Atlantic Yards group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, said with his experience of being evicted from his home in the Atlantic Yards footprint, which had the “robust support of Mayor Bloomberg” that he found the Zuccotti Park eviction “highly ironic and extremely hypocritical.”
Goldstein said that the Mayor “had no qualms about taking my private property and that of hundreds of others to build his crony Bruce Ratner's billion dollar arena.”
“Mr. Bloomberg has no sincere regard for public property or private property,” Goldstein continued. “And it seems to me that now in NYC you are not safe to occupy your own home, a private park, a public/private park...so where is there to go?”
Close to 200 protesters were arrested at Zuccotti Park on Tuesday.
Although there is no march set, Occupy Brooklyn members said there will be one soon.
“This will not slow down Brooklyn at all,” Lucy Koteen, who is part of the Occupy Brooklyn movement. “Two months is a beginning not an end point. I believe Bloomberg just put a match to a stick of dynamite.”
Goldstein has a place in mind for activists to occupy:
“Personally, I would like to see a ‘public/private’ space such as Metrotech occupied in Brooklyn.”