Brookfield Properties, the company which owns Zuccoti Square, has ordered that it be cleared and cleaned, with new rules that prohibit laying down or using sleeping bags after it's cleaned. The question is, will activists in the many cities where Brookfield Properties rents office and retail space launch actions against the company that seems to be launching an attack on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Brookfield Properties a publicly traded company listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges (BPO), is one of the largest owners of commercial property.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company which has a deal with NYC to keep Zuccoti Park open 24/7 has the right to set rules for how it is used. A WSJ article states that the NYPD reports that the company is exercising its rights and insisting that the park be cleaned, POWER-WASHED, to be precise. Think fire hoses like were seen in the south in the sixties.
Brookfield properties owns properties in many major cities in the US, Canada and Australia-- New York, Washington DC, Houston, Denver, Boston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, Sydney and Melbourne.
Some of the properties include World Financial Center in NY, Brookfield Place in Toronto, Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles...
World Financial Center, NYC flickr image by Michael McDonough
It will be interesting to see if the Occupy Wall Street protesters, having been thrown out of Zuccoti Park, will take actions against Brookfield properties, which seems to be declaring war on them and the Occupy movement. With properties in so many cities, it will be interesting to see if occupy protesters in Boston, Houston, LA, Minneapolis, Denver, Vancouver, etc. will identify Brookfield properties locations, which also seem to be often associated with Banking and finance, as ripe targets for the daily actions that the protesters take.
If that happens, it will also be interesting to see the effect of such actions on BPO stock value and the value of the company overall. It's closing price on the NYSE today was $14.29, down. The cost of cleaning the park and basically, aiming a direct attack on the Occupy Wall Street Movement may not be five or six figures. It might be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost value for the company.
If any protesters engage in any actions (protests, sit-ins blocking access, marches in front of properties) aimed at Brookfield, it is likely that the police will respond. That would mean that police will spread their forces around different actions. If protesters even talk or tweet about responding with actions targeting Brookfiled, the police will most likely feel the need to be prepared for response capability, meaning manning up for all potential Brookfield targets.
If protesters in other cities also target Brookfield Properties, then the Brookfield Company may get a reputation with cities as a company that costs a lot to protect-- a company that stirs the #OWS hornets nest.
Of course, nothing could happen. Brookfield Properties could simply have Zuccoti Park cleaned, then establish new rules that prevent Occupiers from staying at that facility. It will be interesting to see what this change in the dynamics will set in motion in terms of domino effects and blowback.
Twitter tracking of the key word Brookfield turns up some interesting information but it is unverified: