New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has issued an ultimatum to the Occupy Wall Street protesters: vacate by 7 am on Friday. This afternoon, like children, they began to clean up after themselves, picking up the trash that has accumulated over four weeks. However the protesters are now vowing to “resist” in the morning (see update).
For weeks the owner of the park and residents have complained that the protestors were violating a host of city ordinances and posed a public danger. Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly finally agreed and ordered the mandatory eviction.
Most of the mainstream media have ignored the unsanitary and dangerous conditions at Zuccotti Park, where the OWS protesters have lived for four weeks.
Now the park is a mess of trash, tents, mattresses, urine and sleeping bags. And residents have complained about lewdness, drug use, loud drumming, public urination as well as sexual assaults.
Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg told the protesters they had to clear out by Friday morning and the city would clean up their mess. Kelly told reporters:
“After it’s cleaned, they’ll be able to come back. … But they won’t be able to bring back the gear. The sleeping bags, that sort of thing, will not be able to be brought back into the park.”
Nothing happens easily in New York City, however. Today Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer tried to invoke the protesters’ First Amendment rights to continue living in the filth: “There is no need to rush into hasty, precipitous action when it comes to the peace and safety of our community.” He was supported by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), whose congressional district abuts the park.
UPDATE: About 1,000 protesters vowed to “resist” being evicted in the morning. Tonight, according to CNN, they chanted: “”All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”