Scenes From An Unoccupied Zuccotti Park
“Like a tree that’s planted by the water, We shall not be moved.”
That was the chant that was sung at Zuccotti Park this morning, in the wake of a police raid that evicted protesters and saw over 200 get arrested
Occupy Wall Street's lower Manhattan encampment looked nothing like the community that was erected over the past two months. Police clad in riot gear surrounded the newly power washed park. These officers were swarmed by angry an crowd that demanded they be let back into the park.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that the park was cleared out because of public safety and health concerns. Bloomberg said that protesters would be allowed to return to the park today, but will not be permitted to bring tents or sleeping bags with them. However, the police have yet to give up custody of the park by mid-afternoon, antagonizing an already livid crowd.
The clearing of Zuccotti Park follows similar action taken by the Oakland Police department on Monday, where 33 protesters were arrested after police raided and dismantled their encampment. Oakland Police say they took action in order to protect the safety of protesters, after a man was fatally shot in one of Oakland protests last Thursday.
"It's not over,” said occupier Sandy English, who passed out memos from the Socialist Equality Society. “This is just a prelude to a mass movement. We're going to see a return to the working class that we haven't seen in 30 years. These guys aren't aware of what is coming.”
One man was waving a communist flag, chanting, “the Germans followed rules too," I pulled him aside to talk about the events that had transpired in the past couple of hours.
Gary Phaneum, 55, from Staten Island, has occupied Zuccotti Park since day 6. When asked where protesters would go next if they could not get back into the park, Phaneum said “Everywhere."
“It’s not about this park, it’s not about this piece of real estate, we have unleashed a world wide movement,” Phaneum said. “We’ve already won."
Photo Credit: Deanna Gillen