The owners of the New York City park where the Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out for a month have called off a scheduled powerwashing that would have forced a showdown between the movement and the NYPD.
The park is privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties but in an agreement with the city it’s open to the public 24 hours a day. On Wednesday, the landlords sent a letter to the NYPD asking for their assistance in clearing the park so that it may be cleaned, and cited concerns about the health and safety of the protesters, nearby residents, and the park itself.
Protesters spent Thursday mopping down and brooming the park. They removed mattresses, tarps and other signs of encampment. Under rules the park added after the protests began, camping is not allowed.
In a statement published by the New York Times, New York Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said, “Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park — Brookfield Properties — that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation.”
“Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Shortly thereafter, jubilant protesters later leaped over police barriers and marched on Wall Street, reports the New York Post.
Several arrests were made and riot police amassed at Exchange Place with batons and plastic handcuffs, but they ended up getting into their vans and driving away, according to live Twitter updates by CNBC’s Jay Carney who is on the ground. @marikatogo reports that work ID’s are now being required to walk down Wall Street itself.