The birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street movement was raided and dismantled early Tuesday morning. At 1 a.m., NYPD in riot gear entered Zuccotti Park with an eviction notice in hand, telling protestors they needed to clear the park immediately but temporarily, for cleaning. The protestors resisted eviction, and close to 250 arrests were made (including reporters and a NYC Councilman). The camp’s belongings were seized, including the #OWS library. Unfortunately, most of the library’s possessions are missing or damaged.
Tuesday night, protestors were allowed back into the park after the clearing and cleaning of the grounds. However, few protestors returned. Occupying Zuccotti Park is now prohibited along with tents, generators, and large bags. With these new rules, there is no way Zuccotti Park can transform back into the mini-city of the 99 percent.
This isn’t the end of the movement; the protestors will regroup, re-strategize, and react. As tweeted recently by @OccupyWallStNYC, “What do you do when you’re under attack? STAND UP, fight back!” Take Occupy Oakland for example – following the October raid in Oakland, protestors responded by organizing a day-long peaceful strike, shutting down parts of the city and the fifth busiest port in the US. Following the eviction of Zuccotti Park, protestors have already begun reorganizing, temporarily gathering at Duarte Square to make future plans. Out of solidarity with the NYC protestors, Occupy DC marched and occupied a building owned by Brookfield Properties, who also own Zuccotti Park, on Tuesday evening.
Evictions will continue to occur in occupied cities; however, the movement is beyond physical dismantling. Over two months, #OWS has managed to change the public discussion. As seen in these graphs from Think Progress, since the beginning of the protests, the media has shifted away from its fixation with the national debt to more important issues: unemployment and financial reform.
Zuccotti Park may be no more, but #OWS is still active and moving forward. Today is the International Day of Action, to mark the movement’s two month anniversary. The day of action started at 7 a.m. – over a thousand protestors occupied New York’s financial district before the NYSE trading bell. In the afternoon, the 99 percent will take to the nation’s bridges, demanding the repair of public infrastructure and American jobs. Participation is not only limited to New York – a full schedule of events around the world is posted on the #OWS site. Get involved or follow live updates under the Twitter hashtag #N17.