Occupy Wall Street protesters energized in New York
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Jeremy Hobson: And we’ll start at Zuccotti Park in New York City — the site of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Officials were planning to force protesters out of the park this morning so they could clean it. But shortly before the deadline — 7 am eastern time — the authorities backed down.
Marketplace’s Alisa Roth is with us now from Zuccotti Park with the latest. Good morning.
Alisa Roth: Good morning.
Hobson: What’s been the reaction there to this last minute about-face by the authorities?
Roth: The reaction has really been one of confusion. Nobody knows how long it’s postponed for or what this postponement really means. So I think everybody’s relived that there’s not going to be a confrontation with the police today, but really nobody knows what to make of it.
Hobson: And the confrontation, of course, would have been over having the protesters temporarily leave the park so that the park could be cleaned. But it sounds like the protesters didn’t exactly believe that that’s all the authorities had in mind.
Roth: That’s right — because while the official line was that “you can go back after we clean,” they also said, “when you go back, we’re not going to allow sleeping bags, we’re not going to allow tarps,” — all these other things that allow the protesters to have an encampment here on Broadway. And so it was a de facto shutting down of the protest.
Hobson: So now that this decision has happened at the last second, has the tension gone away, Alisa?
Roth: You know, the protesters are still out in force. The crowd has been growing since I got here. Just now, they’re marching down to Wall Street, although they’ve left a critical mass in the park, of course, to continue making a statement.
Some people did tell us that they’re pleased that in this moment of crisis when they thought they’d be kicked out, they got kind of turnout of supporters. So even if ultimately the protest ends up being shut down, they have shown that they have the numbers; they have the support.
Hobson: Marketplace’s Alisa Roth joining us from Zuccotti Park in New York. Thanks, Alisa.
Roth: You’re welcome.