Published October 13, 2011
New York City's top cop said Thursday that the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters who clear out of Zuccotti Park Friday, so their makeshift campsite can get a much-needed cleaning, can come back when the job is finished -- but they can't bring their tents, coolers and other gear with them.
"People will have to remove all their belongings and leave the park," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "After it's cleaned, they'll be able to come back. But they won't be able to bring back the gear, the sleeping bags, that sort of thing will not be able to be brought back into the park."
The order would put an end to the campout at the park that began on Sept. 17 -- but some of the protesters defiantly vowed not to leave the park as the city has ordered.
"The powers that be don't like what's happening, and it doesn't surprise me," one protester said this morning. "They'd do anything to get rid of us. But you don't put yourself through all this if you're not serious."
Another young man shouted "We're not leaving this park!" as cops walked by passing out fliers warning them to clear out.
Others said they would clean up the park themselves, and a few were already walking around with brooms and picking up garbage.
The demonstrators were also expected to head back to Brooklyn this afternoon to gather outside Kings County Supreme Court to protest the weekly auctions of homes that have been foreclosed on.
Wall Street bankers, organizers claimed, knowingly sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford to pay them back.
Last time the protesters tried to approach Brooklyn by swarming onto the Brooklyn Bridge cops responded by making more than 700 arrests.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to the base of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters Thursday night to inform them that the park's owners need to clean up Friday after the weeks-long rally.
But he added they could return once the park is tidied up, officials said.
"The last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park," a statement from Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said. "The situation is not in the best interests of the protesters, residents or the city."