Zuccotti Park Is Owned By a Real Estate Company -- Will They Try to Get Protestors Kicked Out?
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The chants got louder again.
“Everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, so we tell them…”
At one point, someone got up to make sure that the windows were closed.
In the end, last night, the Financial District committee of Community Board One resolved, after an hour and a half, not to put forward any resolution. The idea of moving the protesters to Battery Park was ruled unfeasible; the head of that park’s conservancy, the ruling authority over the park’s use, would object strenuously, it was suggested.
Instead, the group opted to keep working through back channels to both the city and Occupy Wall Street, in the hopes of advancing informal “good neighbor” policies for the site.
A subcommittee of four was chosen for the task. The police department, it was concluded, might be asked to consider rolling back its objection to the use of megaphones in Zuccotti Park. The General Assembly had, after earlier trouble, been relying on a technique known as “the people’s mic,” wherein a sentence spoken by that moment’s speaker is repeated by the ring of people standing around him or her, and then by the next ring, so on and so forth, until it has rippled through the park. The people’s mic, it was agreed, was rather more noisy and annoying than a megaphone might be.
The police might also, it was decided, be asked to reconsider barricades in areas of the neighborhood where the protesters had been expected but had not materialized.
For its part, the General Assembly, it was concluded, might also be asked to reconsider holding a scheduled march this weekend on Yom Kippur.
Comity, for a moment, reigned. But it didn't last.
As the evening wore on, Detective Lee turned to the two Occupy Wall Street representatives, and, with a touch of anger in his voice, attempted his own sort of clarification.
“You can split hairs,” he said. “Barriers, this, that … but the bottom line is, when are you people leaving? What is your exit strategy? I can’t get an answer from anybody.”
“These people have lost their park,” the detective continued. “They’re losing their neighborhood.” (A resident in the room added: “And their patience.”)
“When are you people going to leave?” Lee asked.
“I can’t answer that right now,” replied Wedes, and the meeting soon adjourned.
Nancy Scola is a Brooklyn-based writer who has in the past served as the chief blogger at Air America, an aide to former Virginia Governor Mark Warner as he explored a run for the presidency, and a congressional staffer on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.