New York Police Arrest 70 ‘Occupy’ Protesters

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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Police in New York have arrested 70 protesters who refused to leave a public park in Lower Manhattan that has become the focal point for the “Occupy Wall Street” movement since it began two months ago.

A large team of police officers wearing helmets and carrying shields forced hundreds of protesters to evacuate New York’s Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, tearing down temporary dwellings and hauling trash away from what had become a small tent city.

A statement by the city and the park’s owner said the facility was being temporarily evacuated because of an “increased health and fire safety hazard” to those camped in the park.

Police say most of the protesters left the park peacefully, but that those who did not were arrested.

The city says the protesters will be able to return to the park after it is cleaned, but that they will not be allowed to bring back tents or sleeping bags.

The Occupy Wall Street protest began in Zuccotti Park on September 17 with a small group of activists seeking to focus attention on what they see as corporate greed and the increasing gap between the rich and poor across the globe.

The protests have faced a rising number of complaints by local residents and business owners who say the demonstrations have a negative impact on the neighborhood and small businesses.

The movement has gathered momentum and has spawned similar protests in outdoor parks and squares in major cities across the United States, as well as around the world.