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NEWS: Riot police shut down Occupy Wall Street

The New York Times reports, “The mayor’s office sent out a message on Twitter at 1:19 a.m. saying: ‘Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps’. ….Fliers handed out by the police at the private park on behalf of the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties, and the city, spelled out the same message. …By 1:45 a.m., dozens of officers moved through the park, some bearing plastic shields and wearing helmets. They removed tents and bedding materials, putting them on the sidewalk. …Over the next two hours, dozens of protesters left the park while a core group of about 100 dug in around the food area. Many locked arms and defied police orders to leave. By 3 a.m., dozens of officers in helmets, watched over by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, closed in on those who remained. The police pulled them out one by one and handcuffed them. Most were led out without incident.”

The article adds, “(Mayor) Bloomberg stressed that the protesters would still be able to use the park, as long as they complied with the rules, that ban things such as tents and sleeping bags.”

Bloomberg News notes, “New York City police in riot gear swept into a Lower Manhattan park to remove Occupy Wall Street protesters early today… The police operation came after organizers announced plans to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement this week with plans to ‘shut down Wall Street’ and ‘occupy the subways’. …Two hundred to three hundred people were in the park when police using loudspeakers told protesters to leave or face arrest… Police broke down tents and ‘destroyed everything’ while forcibly removing protesters who had locked arms, (an occupier) said. The Associated Press said about 70 people were arrested, citing Paul Browne, a police spokesman. City cleaning crews in orange vests hauled away dumpsters full of the encampment’s remains.”

More soon.