“Occupy Wall Street” protesters are claiming victory after the New York City government and Brookfield Properties — the owner of Zuccotti Park — decided to postpone a scheduled cleanup of the protest grounds early Friday morning.
According to Occupy Wall Street, the thousands of protesters who gathered to stop the the 7:00 am scheduled cleanup prevented the city and Brookfield’s effort to bring order to the park.
“On the eve of the October 15 global day of action against Wall Street greed, this development has emboldened the movement and sent a clear message that the power of the people has prevailed against Wall Street,” a statement from the protest group said on an Internet forum.
Brookfield offered a fittingly sterile explanation for why it backed down, saying it is awaiting a resolution between the city and the protesters.
“At the request of a number of local political leaders, Brookfield Properties has deferred the cleaning of Zuccotti Park for a short period of time while an attempt is made to reach a resolution regarding the manner in which Zuccotti Park is being used by the protesters,” the company said in a statement, adding that the expected resolution “will ensure that the park is used in a way that maintains the health, safety and viability of the residential and business community.”
Brookfield would not elaborate further to The Daily Caller about its future cleanup plans for the park.
The company had planned to spend Friday cleaning the park — normally a daily occurrence — after nearly four weeks without a scrub. It would have required partial evacuations of the park while each section was washed.
“We are winning and Wall Street is afraid,” said Kira Moyer-Sims, a protester from Portland, Oregon on an Occupy Wall Street forum. “This movement is gaining momentum and is too big to fail.”
Demonstrators had feared the city was using the cleanup as a pretence to kick them out. Since the protests began in mid-September, the park’s new occupants have flouted posted rules, which prohibit laying on the ground, setting up tents, and storing private property in the park.
As a publicly traded company, Brookfield itself is considered an enemy by the protesters — not for its commitment to sanitation, but for being part of what the protesters see as a larger Wall Street problem.
“Brookfield Properties is the 1%,” said Patrick Burner, an Occupy Wall Street organizer from Brooklyn. “They have invested $24 billion in mortgage-backed securities, so as millions face foreclosure and eviction due to predatory lending and the burst of the housing bubble that Wall Street created, its not surprising they threatened to evict Occupy Wall Street. But Brookfield and Bloomberg have backed down and our movement is only growing as the 99% take to the streets world wide to call for economic justice.”
Following an announcement that the scheduled cleanup was called off, CBS News reported that “jubilant” protesters clashed with police after an apparent scooter accident, as officers attempted to clear protester out of the road.
According to CBS, between eight and ten arrests were made.