Occupy Wall Street protesters are celebrating their first victory against the 1% as it was decided early this morning that police would not evict occupiers under the guise of cleaning up Liberty Park.
In a surge of support for Occupy Wall Street, over 3,000 people crowded into the park this morning, backed by hundreds of thousands of people who signed petitions and called Mayor Bloomberg’s office over the last 24 hours to demand that the protesters’ First Amendment rights be respected. Donations also poured into the protesters from Italy, England, Mexico and many other countries by everyday people hoping to help the movement grow.
Protesters worked through the night to clean up the park themselves, and in the early morning hours, received word from Brookfield, the company that owns the park, that the clean-up operation had been postponed indefinitely.
To preserve goodwill between themselves and the park’s owners, who are the only ones who could legally force the protesters to leave, Occupiers also held a General Assembly session to create and vote on a Good Neighbor policy that addresses many of the sanitary and safety concerns of the surrounding community:
Points from the Good Neighbor Policy include:
Zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol
Zero tolerance for abuse against personal or public policy
Limit drumming to two hours a day
Working to establish off-site sanitary facilities such as port-a-potties.
“Brookfield Properties is the 1%. They have invested $24 billion in mortgage-backed securities, so as millions face foreclosure and eviction due to predatory lending and the burst of the housing bubble that Wall Street created, its not surprising they threatened to evict Occupy Wall Street,” said Patrick Burner, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street from the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. “But Brookfield and Bloomberg have backed down and our movement is only growing as the 99% take to the streets world wide to call for economic justice.”
Although 14 were arrested when jubilant protesters started marching toward the Stock Exchange, the confrontation between police and NYC Occupiers was hardly the disastrous event many feared. The same can’t be said for protests in other cities. Interestingly (or not) coverage of the non-eviction barely broke through the morning’s typical broadcast news coverage of the stock market and upcoming Presidential election.
Video via (Washington Post)
Image Credit: Flickr - pweiskel08