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

    This is indeed very good news as I support the OWS to the fullest!!! Like them, I too am very frustrated at the way things get done in Washington D.C. All these obscene wars, the excessive and needless military spending and letting the wealthy get undeserved tax breaks. These changes sorely need to happen and happen soon!!!

    November 15, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      Thank you, Joey. You said it all!

      November 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      They need to campout at your house. What about the rights of the people that own the PRIVATE PROPERTY?

      November 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    I think there is so much wrong it is hard to focus on 1 or 2 or 3 top goals to say to fix. I think so little of the "we the people" understand what has happened and why, we just show discontent and anger. Untill a politician adresses issues in a way most americans understand, it will seem futile to try to bring reasonable solution to light.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Scottish Mama,
    You asked whether we have enough intelligent people to fix it?
    You want me to answer?
    No. At least, not within my lifetime.
    I think that the best we can do is to keep the mess stable and adjust the most gross inequities.
    That would take a lot of sacrifice from most of us. I'm not sure enough people are willing to sacrifice, and to examine their thinking.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    We were writing at the same time.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Scottish Mama

    @JIF- another great minds moment?
    I think you are alitttle more fiesty this morning, feelling better?
    I try to read alot and type what i find, like with gung-but typing over and over the same truths gets old.

    November 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    I think a great president that really understands what needs to be done comes along too far and to few in a century.

    November 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    @JIF- at this point do we have any other choice *but to* make sacrifices?

    November 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    @JIF have to go. Read you later.

    November 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Another set of points I made was rejected.
    During WWII, the British knew that they had to sacrifice, and they had Churchill to lead them. They even prevailed.
    Our citizens do not understand much.
    Also, this is more complex, and we do not think as well as people did before 1945 (although we can enter data).

    November 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. layminister herman

    @scottish moma I agree that gung hoe guy can be kinda stubburn! I have had times with him to

    November 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    That AKA, or a troll?

    November 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. gung hoe

    I fully agree with jifs 1153 post

    November 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    @gung hoe:
    Then you fully agree with Georde Patton, because that's who wrote it.

    November 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tangible evidence

    Yea, that's right, we're all a bunch of idiots who are trying to make things better for ALL citezens. What the hell were we thinking?

    November 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    You don't really mean "better for ALL citizens" (caps mine) if you make a member of the most productive 1% share what he has with 99 other humans.
    In fact, things will be so much worse for him that he will have very little incentive to work at all.
    Then where will the 99% get money?

    November 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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