Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park have said they will defy an order by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to vacate the premises by early Friday to allow for cleaning.
"You want to clean up something? Clean up these crooks on Wall Street," CNN quoted City Council Member Charles Barron as saying.
The Associated Press reports that the protesters were "scrubbing, mopping and picking up garbage" at the corporate-owned park they have occupied since Sept. 17, hoping to avoid the scheduled cleanup by Brookfield Properties contractors, which they fear is an attempt too evict them.
Occupy Wall Street spokesman Tyler Combelic told CNN:
"We will passively resist and make it as difficult a process to remove us as possible. It's not an occupation if you can't occupy the park."
(GlobalPost reports: Al Gore backs Occupy Wall Street)
Since starting out in lower Manhattan several weeks ago, the Occupy Wall Street protests have spread to a number of other cities in the United States. On the occupywallst.org website, the group describes itself as a "leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%."
The AP writes:
The protesters' demands are amorphous, but they are united in blaming Wall Street and corporate interests for the economic pain they say all but the wealthiest Americans have endured since the financial meltdown.