The Occupy Wall Street movement says it plans to shut down New York's financial district Thursday following its eviction from nearby Zuccotti Park several days ago, with a hoped-for crowd of tens of thousands expressing outrage in the streets of New York ostensibly celebrating the two month anniversary of the movement's founding.
Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson told reporters at a news conference held Wednesday "the protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city”. He and Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said that said all city agencies were on notice and extra cops would be on hand for the massive demonstrations which it was believed might disrupt the morning commute.
"We will shut down Wall Street. We will ring the People’s Bell, and initiate a street carnival in which we rebuild and celebrate the neighborhoods that the Wall Street economy has destroyed,” Occupy Wall Street organizers threatened. The march on Wall Street was slated to start at 7 a.m. EST.
Other events scheduled for the day included “Occupy the Subways” in all five boroughs at 3 p.m., a takeover of Foley Square in lower Manhattan at 5 p.m. and another march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
OWS organizers also announced their intent to maintain a presence in Zuccotti Park despite their formal, legal eviction by devising a plan to protest in three shifts so there would always be people at the park.
Rick DeVoe, a protester from East Hampton, Long Island, said, "We have to hold this space for the American people." He said the plan was "to have three shifts, so there are people here at Zuccotti Park 24 hours a day."
Security guards at Zuccotti Park enforced the ban on tents and sleeping bags as protesters struggled to stay awake overnight. The squalid tent city had become a magnet for transients, vagrants and criminals and a nightmare for the financial district, local residents said. Protestors were told they could return - without their tents and sleeping bags .
“The protesters have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in Zuccotti Park along with their tents, structures, generators,” state Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman wrote in his ruling, saying New York was within its rights “to promote public health and safety.”