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

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Clean up Zuccotti Park.

    November 15, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      keeping journalists and witnesses outta sight and a block and a half the paramilitary tatics of the police on its citizens is without accountability and monitoring. this is soooo third world annd unamerican.

      November 15, 2011 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Soooo...what was the *purpose* of this show of force?
    "They can return as soon as the park is cleared."
    Did it say that the park was going to be cleaned, or did the police just want to show off their riot gear?
    I see no purpose to this, other than to inflame the people *into* doing something illegal.


    November 15, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You got it. Its important that is all stays peacefull.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Nobody has yet to get a clear ststement of goals from these throwback hippies! What do they expect to happen as the result of their "passive resistance"? Better or more of something? If it's just a bunch of losers crying in their beer and acting out, they need to grow up and get a job and clean up their act....otherwise, let's hear what it is you want or expect!!

    November 15, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Bill you sound so throwback like the suits of the 60's...

      November 15, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @ Bill
      If you don't know what the point of these protests are after 2 months, you really need to come back to earth. If CNN can't get in there to film the eviction of the people at this park, do you really think they are goin to air a decent interview, no they air the drug addicted moron to put a negative spin on the whole picture.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. michaelfury

    November 15, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tori

    Bill: you mean how many statements of purpose are people like you going to ignore?? "Throwback hippies"? You'd rather they...what? Revolt like the countries in the Middle East? Oh, yea, much better.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. s kel

    Hummmmmm sounds like whats been going on in the middle east to me. Dont we( the U.S. ) condem those harsh tactics.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Agreed, s kel and Mmmmm.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Bill is the problem this country has , stale, no foward thinking, conseritive, republican, backwards, thinking.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |

    Occuhippies expect all the good things in life for free and with none of the hard work.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • A$$

      When/If the system collapses and there's nothing being manufactured (which is what some hippys want) its all going to be hard work for anything you might want. Technology is created to make for less work. Soooooo Mr. THIS JUST IN, whos the lazzy a$$ now lol.

      November 15, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    hippies? Communist? Next it will be, dial up phones, eight tracs, slavery,outhouses?

    November 15, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Occuhippies. How cute. Wrong, but cute.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @s kel: lol.

    November 15, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. s kel

    this applies to people like bill and other hole in the ground thinkers.....none are so blind as those who refuse to see....

    November 15, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. s kel


    November 15, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. michaelfury

    "In 1983, I found myself being thrown into a van, in handcuffs and shackles, with a couple of dozen other people for having blocked the entrance to a company that was constructing counter-insurgency training camps in Honduras.

    I won’t romanticize civil disobedience. I won’t pretend that it stopped what was happening in Central America. But I think it was a lot more appropriate than anything I had done up to that point. It had an impact on public perceptions and on what certain companies and interest groups could get away with. The activities of the peace and justice movements of the 1980s did accomplish important things. I wasn’t just an individual, I was part of a social movement, which was enormous and which participated actively in history.

    Furthermore, there was a kind of peace that I achieved that day, lying on the ground in my handcuffs in the November rain — a kind of communion with the spirits of the people killed at Rio Sumpul. I don’t think this was just self-indulgence or fantasy, though this is always a danger. I think I was starting to translate compassion into genuine solidarity with those who suffer. Compassion without active solidarity is barren. I was starting to get some integrity. Not that I was a saviour of the world, but I was beginning to put into practice my moral and spiritual values. That huge chasm between talk and action was beginning to be addressed in my life."

    – Graeme MacQueen

    November 15, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
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