Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Over? New York police clear Zuccotti Park, 200 Arrested

New York police have dismantled the Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park and arrested about 200 people following a raid in the early hours.

Protesters were ordered to leave at about 01:00 (06:00 GMT), before police began removing tents and property.

The New York camp was set up in September to protest against economic inequality - it inspired similar demonstrations around the world.

It was the latest camp to be cleared by police in US cities in recent days.

Following Tuesday's eviction, a New York state judge issued an order ruling protesters could return to the park, pending a hearing at 11:30 (16:30 GMT).

But the city's Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the park would remain closed while officials reviewed the legal situation.

In a news conference, Mr Bloomberg said there was a conflict between protecting public health and safety and protesters' First Amendment rights.

"Unfortunately, the park was becoming a place where people came not to protest, but rather to break laws, and in some cases, to harm others," Mr Bloomberg said.

"The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out - but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others." more