#OCCUPATION: Bloomberg Blinks, Backs Off Eviction

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WASHINGTON POST: Despite city officials announcing a planned cleanup of Zuccotti Park had been canceled, some violence bubbled up in lower Manhattan on Friday morning. After the private owners granted the protesters reprieve from an order to leave the park, some protesters chose to march through the streets in celebration. Police asked protesters to stay on the sidewalk, but when they didn’t, a v-formation of police scooters drove through the crowd, running over one National Lawyers Guild observer. CBS Local News station reports that violence broke out after the man went down. Police told CBS that the reaction was prompted by rioters throwing bottles and garbage at the officers. The police used night sticks and batons and about a dozen protesters were arrested. Other protesters ended the march and returned to Zuccotti Park. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES:  As news that the cleanup had been called off rippled through Zuccotti Park, cheers erupted among demonstrators who had been preparing for a possible confrontation. “I did not come here to look for a fight,” said Steve Sachs of Highstown, N.J. “I’ve never been in a fight in my life. I’ve never been arrested. But I was ready to be arrested over this.” But clashes between the police and protesters flared on various streets in the financial district. At about 7:40 a.m., a man was seen being led away in handcuffs on Broadway. Moments later, a woman who said she was his girlfriend identified him as Michael Rivas. Shortly afterward, at Maiden and Water Streets, police officers were seen taking four people into custody, adbusters_occupy_wall_street.jpgplacing them into a police wagon. One of those men appeared have a gash on his forehead and blood running down his face. At one point, it appeared that as officers tried to keep the crowd on the sidewalk, a bag of garbage was hurled from the crowd and hit one officer. That prompted that officer and another to wade into the crowd and apprehend a man. The crowds marched in roadways, accompanied or pursued by officers on foot or riding scooters. Near the corner of Beaver and Broad Streets, officers wearing helmets leaped from scooters, tackled a man to the ground and placed him in handcuffs. At the intersection of William and Wall Streets, officers stood behind metal barricades as protesters filled the street in front of them. Some protesters waved mops and brooms that had been used earlier to clean Zuccotti Park. Near Broadway and Exchange place, officers drove scooters into a crowd of marchers. Fourteen people were arrested, including protesters who knocked over a police scooter, overturned trash cans, hurled bottles and sat in the street blocking traffic, said Paul J. Browne, the head police spokesman. The abrupt decision to call off the clean up seemed to frustrate Mr. Bloomberg. He said that if Brookfield decided that it did still want to clean the park, it would place the city in a more difficult situation. MORE

DAILY MAIL: Protesters last night surrounded Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan as the Mayor was at dinner in an effort to hand him a petition with 310,000 signatures supporting their right to remain in Zuccotti Park. Their anger was triggered by the Mayor’s endorsement of a planned clean-up of the ‘unsanitary’ Occupy Wall Street encampment which was postponed at the last minute today. The city’s deputy mayor made the announcement after protesters, who viewed the clean-up as an ‘eviction notice’, streamed into the plaza this morning. MORE

GOTHAMIST: During the chaotic Occupy Wall Street march through the financial district this morning, we witnessed a protester on William Street get punched in the face by a police officer, seemingly without provocation. He says the officer hit him so hard his earring got knocked out, but he managed to escape arrest. We caught up with the protester later: his name is Felix Rivera-Pitre, and he told us what happened and how he got away. MORE


WASHINGTON POST: After the private owners granted the protesters reprieve from an order to leave the park, some protesters chose to march through the streets in celebration. Police asked protesters to stay on the sidewalk, but when they didn’t, a v-formation of police scooters drove through the crowd, running over one National Lawyers Guild observer.  CBS Local News station reports that violence broke out after the man went down. Police told CBS that the reaction was prompted by rioters throwing bottles and garbage at the officers. The police used night sticks and batons and about a dozen protesters were arrested. Other protesters ended the march and returned to Zuccotti Park. MORE

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PREVIOUSLY: Brookfield Properties, the owner of Zucotti Park where the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been gathered for weeks, is insisting on “cleaning” its property on Friday. Although New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that the protesters would be allowed to return thereafter, New York City police chief Raymond Kelly has warned that they would not be allowed to bring back sleeping bags or any camping equipment. Bloomberg, one of America’s 400 billionaires, has expressed fears that protests directed at banks would cause the banks to stop lending (out of pique?) and so would hurt jobs growth. Bloomberg is the mayor of New York, but you wonder if he would be if he had not poured tens of millions of his own money into his campaigns. In short, the 1% is mobilizing against the 99% in the park.

Percentage of Americans who approve of Occupy Wall Street: 54adbusters_occupy_wall_street.jpg

Percentage of Americans who say that the gap between the rich and the poor has grown too large: 79

Percentage of Americans who say the rich should pay more in taxes: 68

Percentage of Americans who approve of the Tea Party: 27

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ranking in Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans: 8

Bloomberg’s net worth: $20 billion MORE

RELATED: Zuccotti Park owners received nearly $700,000 in gov’t handouts since 9/11 terrorist attacks

RELATED: One of the juicier nuggets in TIME’s wide-ranging new poll is that voters are embracing the Occupy Wall Street movement as they sour on the Tea Party. Twice as many respondents (54%) have a favorable impression of the eclectic band massing in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park than of the conservative movement that has, after two years, become a staple of the American political scene. MORE

RELATED: The 1%ers Who Stand With The 99%

RELATED: Huge Ass List Of Published Authors Petitioning Bloomberg Not To Evict The Occupiers

RELATED: Tony Robbins Is Part of The Problem
jeffdeeney1.jpgDEENEY: Suddenly, as if overnight, the Occupy Wall Street movement has sprung up, tapping into an underground river of fear and fury of the many millions of Americans—not just the college grads with $50,000 in student loans and no job—who are beginning to recognize that they, too, may be left behind “when the economy recovers.” They are asking, with growing urgency, what if this time it’s different? What if the jobs don’t come back? What if this—what we are living through now—is the “new normal”? If so, then why are we destroying the safety net; “reforming” Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security; blowing up the New Deal, the Great Society, and the entire social contract that drove the 20th century, just when we need them most? Who owns America anyway? “We are the 99%,” the rallying cry of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is a shorthand way of asking all these questions, of mobilizing the fear and fury at the growing economic disenfranchisement, at the corporate corruption and greed that we all know got us into this mess—and that has largely managed to escape “reforming.” May a thousand Occupy Wall Streets bloom. But where does the street-level drug addict living in an abandoned house in North Philly fit into the occupation scheme? Some protesters at the various occupation sites have reportedly tried to bring “drug law reform” messaging into the discussion of OWS goals, but are being shouldered aside by those who hope to counter the media’s defensive criticism that the movement is unfocused by keeping its demands narrowly focused on banking reforms. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has hung progressive drug-law reformers out to dry, continuing to pursue an enforcement strategy that will shut down even the burgeoning medical-marijuana movement. How will addicts get needed but controversial services like safe, legal heroin injection sites when the biggest, strongest advocacy groups are getting shut down by a Democratic president over decriminalizing marijuana? MORE

RELATED: Photos Of #OccupyDenver Crackdown

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occupyDenver.jpgDENVER POST: The Colorado State Patrol said 23 people were arrested as police in riot gear moved into the Occupy Denver camp in front of the Colorado Capitol early this morning to dismantle tents and remove debris. The initial order to disperse came shortly before 3 a.m., but arrests weren’t made until after 6 a.m. Cpt. Jeff Goodwin of the Colorado State Patrol said troopers arrested 21 people for suspicion of unlawful conduct on public land. He said that number could increase later today. Casey Childers, a 27-year-old student from the University of Colorado at Denver, said she was kicked off a median in the middle of Colfax where she was holding a sign with a blue peace sign on it. “They showed up in full riot gear and all we have are signs and slogans,” Childers said. “I’m very concerned we are not able to protest peacefully and freely.” MORE

RELATED: Police took everything. Destroyed camp, including legal areas on the sidewalk. Many arrested. Said park closed indefinitely.

RELATED: Six Places To Occupy Next

RELATED: #Occupy Timeline

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