November 15th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Judge orders New York to allow protesters, tents, in park

[Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET] A New York judge issued an order Tuesday morning allowing Occupy Wall Street protesters to return to Zuccotti Park, just hours after scores of police in riot gear ordered them out and tore down their tents.

The order from New York Supreme Court Judge Lucy Billings allows protesters to bring tents and other equipment back into the privately-owned park where the now-global Occupy movement began.

City officials had intended to allow protests to resume at the park, but said they would not allow demonstrators to set up tents or camp. The park will remain closed until officials sort out the legal situation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"We have an obligation to enforce the laws today, to make sure that everybody has access to the park so everybody can protest. That's the First Amendment and it's number one on our minds," he said. "We also have a similar, just as important obligation to protect the health and safety of the people in the park."

A hearing was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET to discuss the order.

[Posted at 4:37 a.m. ET] Police in full riot gear moved in to New York's Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning, threatening to arrest anyone who didn't evict the site that protesters have occupied for almost two months.

Dozens of protesters linked arms, defying the police and chanting "Whose park? Our park" and "You don't have to do this."

Police arrested at least 14 people, said Kanene Holder, a spokeswoman for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The New York Police Department would not comment on what prompted the eviction. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office said the move is temporary.

"Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared," the mayor's office said in a tweet at 1:34 a.m.

About 10 minutes later, the eviction had begun.

The group's website video streamed the eviction under a banner headline that read, "NYPD is raiding Liberty Square." Liberty Square is the former name of the park.

While many protesters left without resisting, many others moved to the center of the park to an area known as the kitchen. There, they built barricades with tables to keep police away.

The air was thick with smoke, which some protesters said was from teargas that officers lobbed.

Others said officers took thousands of books from the camp's makeshift library and tossed them in Dumpsters.

"In an immense show of force, police have shown their presence," Holder said. "I've seen how agitated the police are, and some pushing and shoving to remove us."

CNN could not immediately confirm those accounts, as police kept journalists a block and a half away from the park during their ra

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soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    These right-wing fanatics will stop at nothing to silence the OWS Movement, including the use of their police department. This is another flagrant right-wing abuse of power in this country as it degenerates into a right-wing police state. If you find this post to be incredible, just look at how Washington does business nowadays!!!

    November 15, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    The Dodd Frank reform bill was Passed in response to late 2000 bill, the most sweeping change in financial regs since the great depression, made By pres Bush.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    @ Ruffie silence the people that read and research and you have sheep. That is what the gov would like. That is why the house and senate should be returned to the dems. It will give the real American people a chance to see if they will fix it or 4 more years for the American people to become more organized and out the parts of governmental workers that see it as a cash cow for the house and senate misers.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scottish Mama

    @Gung-Legal and financial scholars say the Frank Dodd bill was insufficent to prevent another crisis.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Scottish Mama

    @Gung or additional bailouts of financial in–sti -tu–tions.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    @Gung – next time could you just ask about the weather? lol

    November 15, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    Eric Cantor the host with the most. Making money off american misery. Portfolio to the stars, on american backs.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Well, there's a point on which I can agree quickly.
    House, Senate, and President need to be Democratic now.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    I hope you are recooperating? I give them 4 years to look like a resemblance of a government. I am done with repubs at this time. If they do not clean it up, new faces should be put in house and senate.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I don't think that any recent actions government caused our mess.
    I think it goes back almost a century, and that the slowly growing mess is in the mentality of our citizens.
    It's terribly complex.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    Missouri needs to be the swing to the left state this year.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    "They" are not letting me post.
    Somebody up there may not like my thinking today–and oh, I know that it's not very popular right now.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    @JIF and we are slow to responed to a crisis.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scottish Mama

    @JIF – I know I had to respond to gung in small bites.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm coming to the realization that, in effect, I'm an Independent.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
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