Cleanup at NYC park, protest site postponed
NEW YORK - The cleanup of the Lower Manhattan park that has been occupied by protesters for nearly a month was postponed yesterday shortly before it was supposed to begin, averting a feared showdown between the police and demonstrators who had vowed to resist efforts to evict them from their encampment.
But sporadic clashes between Occupy Wall Street protestors and the police erupted anyway when demonstrators started marching through the winding streets of Lower Manhattan after learning that the cleanup had been called off. A number of protestors were taken into custody.
In Denver, dozens of police in riot gear herded protesters away from the Colorado state Capitol grounds early yesterday, arresting 23 and dismantling their encampment.
Most of the demonstrators retreated without resisting.
The announcement on the delayed New York cleanup was made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration around 6:20 a.m., about 40 minutes before workers were scheduled to enter Zuccotti Park, the home base for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.
“Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park - Brookfield Properties - that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation,’’ Deputy Mayor Caswell F. Holloway said in a statement.
“Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use,’’ Holloway said, “and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown.’’
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.