Revolution #250, November 15, 2011

FLASH – New York Occupy Wall Street News

Revolution distributors sent the following update:

For most of Tuesday, Nov. 15, Zuccotti Park, which has been the site of Occupy Wall Street, was occupied by several hundred riot-clad police and private security squads hired by the real estate firm that owns the site. The park was brutally cleared this morning by the NYPD under the personal supervision of police chief Raymond Kelly. (See Defend Occupy Wall Street – No Police Attacks on Zuccotti Park!) Protests have continued all day.  The level of anger at the police has been higher than in the past.  People had been hollering and screaming at the police, demanding that they reopen the park even as some of the same people tried to reason with them.

This morning, after the police cleared the park, pepper-spraying protesters and arresting 200 people, a New York State Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order requiring the city to allow the occupiers to return with their tents and equipment. The city and the NYPD flagrantly ignored this order. Then in the afternoon, the court ruled in favor of the city, saying the free-speech rights of the protesters did not include camping with tents and equipment in the park. This is an outrageous ruling. This new movement has created room and energy for imagining and debating how to bring about a new world—and this has involved collectively occupying space, creating a focal point with community that challenges the prevailing consumerist, competitive and oppressive social relations in society. The denial of the ability of the occupiers to protect themselves from the approaching winter conditions is aimed at gutting the epicenter of the powerful new resistance that has grown up since the first small group of determined young people camped in the park.

After the ruling, the police reopened the park but everyone entering the park was forced to enter through a checkpoint.  No one can enter with food, a musical instrument or a sleeping bag, in addition to no tents.  All backpacks are being searched.   As of this writing, hundreds of people have returned to the park—preparing to spend the night without sleeping bags or blankets, not sure if they are even allowed to lie down. Tonight is balmy—and there is great determination not to lose the park. The park is very tense. Within the park are 50 police in riot gear.  As we are posting this update, it will be important for everyone to watch developments—and not to allow further attacks on the occupation in NYC or anywhere!


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