The tent city of protesters camping out in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park in New York will be temporarily removed for cleaning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.
Bloomberg reportedly visited the park Wednesday evening to personally announce the cleaning. He cited sanitation concerns from the park's owner, Brookfield Properties.
Zuccotti Park is located in a privately owned plaza. Its owners are nevertheless obliged to make it available to the public, reported NBC. Normally, they would provide necessary maintenance, but they were not able to do so because of the crowds of protesters that settled in the park almost a month ago.
The park will be cleaned in stages, beginning Friday morning, according to NBC. Protesters are to be allowed to return to their designated areas after the cleaning.
The park has been entirely transformed in recent weeks. Protesters of all ages and backgrounds have been camping out in this area right off Wall Street, exhibiting their banners with anti-corporation and anti-Wall Street slogans.
The Christian Post has previously reported that the presence of protesters distorts how the local environment works, according to some. Local street vendors and small business owners, especially owners of eateries, have been complaining that the protesters have been scaring away costumers, without buying anything themselves.
The protesters are both an attraction and a nuisance to tourists who come to visit the 9/11 memorial and take photos around Ground Zero. People working in local office buildings have also lost a place to have lunch.
Some reports were also made that protesters gamble with the nerves of local chains like McDonalds and Starbucks, as well as small businesses, by trying to continually use their washrooms.
The original movement, "Occupy Wall Street," is a "leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions," according to the protesters' official website. The group claims it is standing up for the 99 percent of society who are being used by the one percent of society, the rich.
The protests began in New York on Sept. 17, after calls for protest were published online in mid-July. The movement was reportedly started in part by Vancouver-based Adbusters Media Foundation, which urged people to occupy Wall Street to protest inherent inequalities in the global economic system.
Protesters say the economic problems strangling America are the main reason for their action, and pay special attention to alleged corporate greed and political corruption.