There was a massive police crackdown in New York City last night. Shortly after midnight – hundreds of riot-clad NYPD officers surrounded Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan – and passed out flyers warning the occupying patriots to leave the park immediately or face arrest. Five hours later – the park was completely cleared – and as many as 200 people were arrested – and for the first time in nearly two months Zuccotti Park wasn’t home of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Everything in the park – from tents – to the makeshift kitchen – to the entire library collection of over 5,000 books was destroyed and tossed into nearby sanitation trucks. During the raid – police blocked all roads into Zuccotti Park in an effort to prevent journalists from witnessing what was happening. But according to reports from journalists who were already inside the park – police beat people with batons – sprayed tear gas – and even used sound cannons to disperse the crowd. After 5 a.m. – hundreds of people roamed the streets of New York’s financial district trying to figure out what happened and what to do next.
Eventually – the Occupy Wall Street patriots sent up camp in nearby Foley Square. There, the Occupy Press Team released a statement saying, “Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces – our spaces – and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people – all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.”
Get ready for a turbulent day in the Big Apple.