#OWS live from Zucotti Park: Reprieve!
The key tweet from the Guardian's @AdamGabbatt on the ground:
Summary from the New York Daily News, which (like the Guardian) had reporters on the ground in Zuccott Park overnight. Unlike Pinch Sulzberger's Izvestia, I might add.
In a sudden and striking about-face, the city and the owners of Zuccotti Park postponed a cleanup of the area [what, they were finally going to arrest some banksters for accounting control fraud?] early Friday that would have temporarily uprooted Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway fired off a statement just 40 minutes before the expected 7 a.m. showdown between cops and protesters, saying Brookfield Properties tabled its plans to power-wash the site.
"Brookfield [Properties] believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown [yeah, like a functioning democracy would be], and we will continue to monitor the situation," Holloway said.
Protesters read the statement aloud, setting off a wild celebration among the hundreds massed at the park, which they have occupied for the last four weeks. They hugged, sang, danced and beat on drums - all the while proclaiming victory.
Of course, the real story isn't the drum circle (forsooth) but the organizing abilities that allowed the Occupiers to win this stand-off. So, if Bloomberg wants to keep his girlfriend's park clean, why doesn't he set up a public-private partnership with the Occupiers, and pay them to clean it? Ha ha, only serious.
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Bloomberg cites political pressure. Guardian:
Bloomberg said city officials had put pressure on the Zuccotti park owners to call off the clean-up. "Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them, saying 'if you don't stop this we'll make your life more difficult'.
The owners of Zuccotti Park - Occupy Wall Street's home base - have pocketed nearly $700,000 in government handouts since the 9/11 terror attacks.
Brookfield Properties has received at least three six-figure grants meant for small businesses hurt by 9/11, even though it's an $8 billion company with 2,500 employees, records show.
Haw. Daily News again. I think it's really funny to see the America's Picture Newspaper eating Izvestia's lunch. Whoever may own this story, it's not Pinch Sulzberger's stenography department. And here's the New York City Council's "make nice" version of "threats."
Nevertheless, let's not, with Bloomberg, deny the Occupiers their agency. If they hadn't made the genius move of cleaning up the park themselves -- using their own donations to hire their own garbage truck! -- would Bloomberg have sent the PowerWashers in? You bet he would have. The real story here isn't that a Byzantine threats from insiders making some calls, but that the Occupiers self-organized to keep the situation fluid and hold their space.
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I really object to the "cleanup" frame that even actual reporters are using, since it distracts from what's really dirty on Wall Street, and that's so not the Occupiers. Plus, it feeds naturally into the "dirty hippies" riff that so many in our famously free press love to run but which, alas for that narrative, it is not true.
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Daily News live blog here. Lots of pictures! Guardian live blog here. Technical note: At the Guardian, when you click on the bold time-stamp for each entry in the live stream, you get a link to that entry, so bloggers can cite to the link. That's a traffic builder. Daily News IT people take note, please. Why hide your light under a bushel?
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Classic. Citigroup CEO Vikram Bandit:
“I’d be happy to talk to [the Occupiers] any time they want to come up.”
Er, no, Vikram. No. They don't come to you. You go to them. You visit the Park. That's the process, eh? Perhaps
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11:52AM A communication from Pavlina R. Tcherneva on MMT in Zuccotti Park tomorrow morning:
[W]e are meeting around 10:30am tomorrow at Zuccotti park near the Welcome/information booth. We will spend the day there handing out flyers and talking to people.
I'm relieved. That little story about the skateboarder explaining the gold standard to two bemused blue shirts gave me the creeps. It's always possible to make things worse, ya know?
NOTE Cross-posted to Naked Capitalism MR SUBLIMINAL Happy Dance!