Under cover of darkness, with short warning, on orders directly from Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Police Department moved into Liberty Plaza around one o’clock this morning in full riot gear, with bulldozers, sound cannons and tear gas. What followed was a violent, wantonly destructive and illegal eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
The Website of the New York City General Assembly has a timeline of events from 1:20 AM to 3:36 AM.
There were widespread reports of credentialed press being physically restrained from covering the raid, yet they couldn’t keep everybody out. Here is one eyewitness report from Rosie Gray of The Village Voice.
According to witnesses, the police treated everything in the camp as if it were garbage. People were not allowed to retrieve even their personal items. Police destroyed the camp kitchen, and apparently even cut down trees in the park. In the end, they used powerwashers to remove the last physical traces of the occupation.
Very shortly thereafter, a New York State Supreme Court Judge issued a restraining order against the city and Brookfield Properties to prohibit them from barring protestors from the site, from evicting them from the site or from enforcing any rule that was not already in place prior to the occupation. As I type this, the protestors in New York City are gathering at Canal and 6th to strategize and to take action.
The raid this morning was the latest in a series of police raids over the past few days against the Occupy movement in places like Salt Lake City, Denver, Portland and Oakland.
Despite these brutal and lawless attacks on behalf of “the powers that be” this movement will not be stopped, because you cannot evict an idea whose time has come. You can’t beat it. You can’t buy it. You can’t bomb it. You can’t bulldoze it.
This moment is nothing short of America rediscovering the strength we hold when we come together as citizens to take action to address crises that impact us all. Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces – our spaces – and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people – all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe that is a highly popular idea, and that is why so many people have come so quickly to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.
— From a Statement by Occupy Wall Street Issued as Police were Massing for the Raid
I stand in solidarity with the protestors in New York City and around the globe. In the now rather infamous words of Anonymous “We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Here are some resources for those interested in taking direct action.
There is also this guide on how to occupy.