'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters Reject City's Plan to Clean Zuccotti Park

The protesters occupying a downtown Manhattan park, who were asked by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to temporarily move Friday so that authorities could clean the space, suspect the City's desire to clean is a trick. "Occupy Wall Street" protesters insist they will clean up the park themselves and have no intention of leaving.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared at Zuccotti Park Wednesday evening to personally inform protesters that authorities need to clean the premises Friday. He reportedly assured them that they would be free to return after the cleaning is over.

But the protesters do not buy that. They see the action as a trick to disperse them and disintegrate a makeshift camp composed of sleeping bags, blankets and cartons, which they managed to establish in that privately held, but public square, located right off Ground Zero. They have organized their own, crowd-sourced cleaning action, in order to outsmart the authorities. So if the police asks them to move, "OWS" protesters say they will not.

"We're making a community effort to really get [the square] very clean. We're going to power-wash it and everything," Jordan, who is a part of the "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."

The protesters' cleaning action was organized mostly via word of moth, Jordan said.

"What we’re trying to do with this movement is show that the people can enact their own system of management; that we don’t need some sort of an untouchable system to micromanage everything that we do on a day to day basis. Including cleaning up our stuff," Camille, another protester, told CP.

"Somebody made a great statement last night," she added, "when someone said 'Who's going to pay for the roads?’ And in fact, who's already paying for the roads? People do. And this is about people taking action and taking responsibility for their communities. That's really what we're trying to embody down here."

So today, Camille said, they will do the same kind of a clean-up that the city would do, only earlier. That should deprive the authorities of an excuse to chase the protesters out of the park.

"My observations are that the park is really clean, it's not disgusting at all," said Kelsey, a protester. "People have put honest effort into keeping it clean, maintaining it, and I think that there is probably high likelihood that they [the city authorities] are just trying to ‘clean’ the park of us."

All of the protesters that CP spoke with affirmed that they do not believe Mayor Bloomberg is being sincere, and that should the police try to remove them by force, they will resist.

"Brookfield respects the rights of free speech, assembly, and peaceful protest," said Matthew Cherry, spokesman of Brookfield Property, the legal owner of the park. Cherry, speaking in a statement issued Thursday, added, "The manner in which Zuccotti Park has been used for the past several weeks has created unsanitary conditions."

"Last night, the City of New York notified the public of Brookfield’s plan to clean Zuccotti Park, in phases, on Friday, October 14. The park has not been cleaned in four weeks, a process that is normally undertaken every night. Our goal is to keep the park clean, safe, and accessible to all," Cherry stated.

The company promised that after the cleaning, the park will be opened back to the public, which should also include the protesters.

The park has been entirely transformed in recent weeks. Protesters of all ages and backgrounds have been camping out in this area near Wall Street, exhibiting their banners with anti-corporation and anti-Wall Street slogans and sleeping under the open sky.

Passersby Thursday were heard speculating that some protesters in the park might actually be homeless.

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