Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Despite promises of re-occupying Zuccotti Park any way possible, the buzz of being allowed back into the park (albeit without tents, tarps or sleeping bags) Tuesday evening didn't last long.
The New York Times reports that only a few dozen people stuck it out overnight in the park. Still, part of the reason more did not stay may have been because many of those who had previously set up camp there had many of their belongings—including winter clothes—taken during Tuesday morning's raid. They've been told they can reclaim their belongings Wednesday from the city.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to bring an end to Occupy Wall Street's original encampment has many wondering what comes next for the movement, particularly now that it doesn't have as much of a physical presence in Zuccotti Park.
Tuesday at 6:21 p.m.: Here's the court order backing the ban on the overnight camping at the park:
"The movants have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion of the owner’s responsible rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access of others who might wish to use the space safely. Neither have the applicants shown a right to a temporary restraining order that would restrict the City’s enforcement of laws so as to promote public health and safety."
UPDATE #14 at 5:45 p.m.: Zuccotti Park has been re-opened and OWS protesters are filing back in. They won't be able to set up tents, but it remains to be seen how police will react later in the evening if/when the demonstration continues.
UPDATE #13 at 4:52 p.m.: The ruling is in: The temporary restraining order against the police eviction has been reversed.
CNN reports that New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman ruled in favor of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the owners of Zuccotti Park, who have barred protesters from bringing tents and sleeping bags into the park.
Protesters will be allowed to return to the park to demonstrate, but under the ruling they will not be allowed to erect permanent structures, set up tents or camp out overnight.
UPDATE #12 at 4:15 p.m.: Still waiting ... but meanwhile some good news for protesters: The Occupy Wall Street library in Zuccotti Park may have been broken down last night, but its collection of about 5,000 books were not destroyed as some had feared earlier in the day.
Gothamist reports that the library’s contents are being held at a Department of Sanitation Facility in Manhattan. The Mayor’s Office tweeted the books are "safely stored" in the facility, and can be picked up Wednesday. A picture accompanied the tweet, providing photo evidence the books are safe.
UPDATE #11 at 4:03 a.m.: As we all await the ruling, you can check out Slate's photo gallery of the daylong standoff here.
UPDATE #10 at 3:55 p.m.: Still no word on an official ruling. The protesters gathered around Zuccotti Park are getting a little feisty, and on more than one occasion have reacted to false reports on Twitter and from the crowd suggesting that the order is already in and the judge ruled in their favor.
Will update when the ruling is official.
UPDATE #9 at 2:05 p.m.: The hearing is now over and a final ruling on the eviction is set to come down shortly after 3 p.m.
Until then, the protesters continue to gather on the edges of Zuccotti Park (many with drums in hand) in preparation for the chance to re-establish the original encampment of the Occupy Wall Movement that began in September.
UPDATE #8 at 1:44 p.m.: In addition to arguing that the OWS encampment was unsanitary, New York City is also arguing that it posed a "substanital threat to public safety," in part, because protesters had allegedly stockpiled a number of items that could be used as weapons.
In a court filing Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway described a "steady accumulation of combustibles, smoking, and other hazards" at the site and said that police officers have increasingly seen protesters carrying a host of makeshift weapons, "such as cardboard tubes with metal pipes inside."
UPDATE #7 at 1:24 p.m.: For most of the morning, the OWS protesters have largely gathered in two places: Duarte Square and outside the now-cleared Zuccotti Park. But those that headed to Duarte are now marching back to Zuccotti, where they've joined with the other supporters in hopes that they will be able to reoccupy the park once the court makes an official ruling.
UPDATE #6 at 1:18 p.m. Slate's Greg Howard reports from near Zuccotti Park that there is very little interaction going on between the police and protesters, and that for the most part it's a wait-and-see game for all involved.
Earlier in the day, however, a single protester carrying an American flag jumped the barricade and was quickly arrested by NYPD officers. The protester was greeted with loud cheers and hearty applause from the protesters outside the barricade.
UPDATE #5 at 1:15 p.m.: Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zuccotti Park, says that the park will remain closed "as a matter of safety" until after the matter of the eviction is settled by the court.
That resolution could come soon, however. The emergency hearing on the eviction is now underway.
UPDATE #4 at 12:36 p.m.: Police reportedly arrested roughly two dozen people—including at least four journalists—at a Trinity Church-owned lot where a group of the evicted protesters had gathered Tuesday morning. The New York Times reports that protesters cut the fence to the lot (located just west of Duarte Square) to gain access to the property.
From the report: "At least four journalists, including a reporter and a photographer from The Associated Press, a reporter from The Daily News and a photographer from DNAInfo, were led out in plastic handcuffs. A few of the detentions were done roughly—one man was thrown on the ground by the police and officers kneeled on his back. But most were more routine."
The Daily News reporter who was arrested is posting live pics from the bus where he is currently detained.
UPDATE #3 at 12:21 p.m.: The standoff continues. Slate has our own Greg Howard down there now. He reports back that the protesters continue to stand outside the barricades around Zuccotti Park, passing around the court order restoring their access to to the park.
Everyone seems to be awaiting word from the emergency hearing on the eviction that was to take place in a New York City courtroom. The hearing had been set for 11:30 a.m., but it had not yet begun shortly before noon, according to the New York Times.
UPDATE #2 at 11:46 a.m.: The New York Daily News has a look at how the OWS protesters were able to secure the temporary order that should—in theory, at least—allow them back into Zuccotti Park until a final decision is made by the courts.
The paper reports that lawyers for the movement woke up Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings immediately after learning of the raid. Billings, who spent more than two decades as an ACLU lawyer, then signed the restraining order.
Billings's involvement in the case will be short-lived, however, as the temporary hearing will be presided over by a different judge (one that is randomly selected).
UPDATE #1 at 11:27 a.m.: The emergency hearing is set to begin any moment, but meanwhile crowds of OWS protesters are amassing near Zuccotti Park in hopes of reoccupying the park as they were granted the permission to do by a judge earlier in the day.
The cops who are blocking access to the park, however, are saying that they haven't seen the order, something that Mayor Michael Bloomberg also mentioned at his press conference this morning. Many protesters, however, are carrying copies of the restraining order.
The Other 99 is livestreaming the action here.
Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9:50 a.m.: New York City police raided Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning, clearing the park at the center of the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement of protesters and the scores of tents and other belongings that made up their encampment.
Hours later, however, a judge issued a temporary restraining order allowing the protesters to return with their tents, further adding to the chaos and confusion that has flooded the city since shortly after midnight when hundreds of police gathered to begin the eviction. A group of OWS protesters returned to Zuccotti Park shortly after the ruling, but so far police appear to be holding their ground in advance of a hearing on the eviction set for later Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, many of the protesters who were forced from the park overnight—and supporters who have joined them since learning of the news—have gathered at various points around the city as they ponder their next move, according to the New York Daily News.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his decision to order the park cleared at a press conference shortly after the judge issued the temporary restraining order against the eviction. "New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself," he said. "What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that."
At the heart of his decision to clear the park, he said, was his belief that the protesters had taken it over, "making it unavailable to anyone else," and his growing concerns about the safety and sanitation of the two-month-old encampment.
The New York Times on the overnight action in Zuccotti Park, during which 70 protesters were arrested:
The operation to clear the park had begun near the Brooklyn Bridge, where the police gathered before moving on to surround the park. The protesters rallied around an area known as the kitchen, near the middle of the park, and began putting up makeshift barricades with tables and pieces of scrap wood.
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 overnight crack down on the New York City demonstration follows similar moves across the country by authorities looking to end the overnight occupations that have become a hallmark of the anti-Wall Street movement since its beginning.
Here's some raw footage of the eviction from the AP: