Occupy Wall Street protesters fight for Union Square Park


Protesters affiliated with Occupy Wall Street gather in Union Square on March 19, 2012 in New York City.


Mario Tama

Occupy Wall Street protesters are fighting to keep hold of Union Square Park after around 300 protesters were ousted from the park early Wednesday morning, the New York Daily News reported

New York police officers surrounded the park on Tuesday night in anticipation of clearing it out, and two FDNY ambulances were on standby in case of violence, according to Slate.

"The park will be closing as of midnight. If you don't leave, you will be arrested,” an NYPD captain warned late Tuesday, according to the Daily News. 

Protestors chanted “Bloomberg, beware. Zuccotti Park is everywhere,” as the police set up metal barricades around Union Square, the New York Times reported

Six protesters were taken into custody after the face-off between police and OWS on a range of charges, including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstructing governmental administration, a spokesman for the New York Police Department told the New York Times. 

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“They were blocking pedestrian traffic,” said the spokesman. “They were given a lawful order to disperse and when they subsequently refused, they were arrested.” 

City officials had said they would tolerate the group in small numbers, but specified that no more than 25 protesters could sit or lie down in the park, the Daily News reported.

However, about 30 Occupiers spent the night on the sidewalk near Union Square, and rushed back up the stairs and into the park as soon as the blockade was removed at 6 a.m. this morning, The New York Daily News reported

Over the weekend, hundreds of protesters returned to Zuccotti Park, the original home base of OWS, to mark the six-month anniversary of the anti-corporate movement, the Wall Street Journal reported. By Sunday, 74 people had been arrested, several protesters and two New York Police officers had been injured, and law-enforcement officials set up barricades around Zuccotti Park, the Journal reported. 

The OWS movement has been attempting to set up Union Square Park as the new location for their protests. 

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg was visibly impatient with the resurgence of Occupy Wall Street's activities, the Huffington Post reported.

"You want to get arrested? We'll accommodate you," he said on Monday, according to the Huffington Post. “If you have something, really, to say, that would be a great contribution, nobody can hear you when everybody’s yelling and screaming and pushing and shoving."

On Monday, two City Council members who have been vocal supporters of Occupy Wall Street, Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams, denounced police behavior over the weekend, the Journal reported. 

The protesters “are not terrorists, they are not enemies of the state,” said Williams. “This park is to be used by the public. Occupy Wall Street is part of the public.” He added: “What this is about — and let’s be clear — is suppression of dissent.”