Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park which is the focal point of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest, have notified the City of New York that the protesters occupying the park may stay for the time being.
Nonetheless, Friday's confrontation ended with 14 arrests, one of a protestor for allegedly knocking over a police scooter, others for standing up or sitting down in the street. Other demonstrators were detained for allegedly throwing bottles and overturning trash baskets.
At a personal appearance on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had requested that demonstrators temporarily move on Friday so that authorities could clean the park. But on Thursday the protesters themselves spent the afternoon cleaning up, at one point accompanied by hip-hop artist Russell Simmons.
Resistant, the protesters saw the action as a trick to disassemble the makeshift tent town near Ground Zero, even though signs specifically forbidding sleeping bags and camping equipment are posted.
"We're making a community effort to really get [the square] very clean. We're going to power-wash it and everything," Jordan, a part of the protestor "sanitation committee," told The Christian Post Thursday. "There's definitely still work that needs to be done here, but I think the police should stay out of it."
"Brookfield respects the rights of free speech, assembly, and peaceful protest," said Matthew Cherry, spokesman of Brookfield Property, the legal owner of the park.
"Occupy" protests in other cities did not end as peacfully. In addition to those arrested in New York, police arrested dozons of Denver protestors who had occupied a tent city.