By Charles M. Young
Mayor Bloomberg has announced that Occupy Wall Street must leave Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, October 14, allegedly so the city can clean it.
Almost verbatim notices have been served on other occupations around the United States and the world. Invariably, they have turned out to be a ploy to clear the space and not let demonstrators back in. Mayor Bloomberg has a long history of lying and police state tactics of crowd control.
As I write, Occupy Wall Street is cleaning all of Zuccotti Park, even spending $3000 of its own funds to hire professionals with steam cleaners as well as gardeners who are replacing trampled flowers. The park had become somewhat messy with all the wet sleeping bags and tarps, but it was never filthy. Uniquely among New York's urban public spaces, it is completely free of pigeons, who cannot find a meal, despite enormous the amounts of free food being served daily. The demonstrators have been cleaning up after themselves from the beginning.
The OWS General Assembly has voted not to leave the park voluntarily. It has issued an urgent call for all supporters to come to Zuccotti Park by 6 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, October 14) and defend the occupation.
Occupy Wall Street has been steadfastly non-violent from its start on September 17. The police are another matter--especially the supervisory goons in white shirts and the "Paid Detail Unit," which is composed of active-duty city cops directly employed by the banks and the New York Stock Exchange. But if thousands of people show up, link arms and refuse to leave, the police can't arrest everyone and Zuccotti Park, or Liberty Plaza as it has been called lately, will remain liberated space.
Occupy Wall Street and the countless other occupations across the country it has inspired is the most important and effective demonstration the left has organized in at least 40 years. The New York action has garnered $150,000 in donations. It has support from the most important unions and community groups in New York. It has inspired millions around the world to fight back against greed and corruption with their own occupations. It must be defended.
We call on all our readers to go to Zuccotti Park now. At the latest, get there by 6 a.m. Preferably spend the night, because Mayor Bloomberg should not be trusted about when the "cleaning" will start. He is, after all, a billionaire.
Please forward this message to anyone and everyone you know who lives within driving distance of New York City!
CHARLES M. YOUNG is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent online alternative newspaper. A resident of Manhattan, he has been covering the Wall Street Occupation from day one. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, DAVE LINDORFF and LINN WASHINGTON, JR., as well as all our coverage of the occupation movement, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net