Occupy protesters hail 'great victory'

Oct 15, 2011, 07:45 IST | Agencies

The decision to postpone the clean-up of Zuccotti Park, where agitators have camped, sent cheers up from the huge crowds collected there

The decision to postpone the clean-up of Zuccotti Park, where agitators have camped, sent cheers up from the huge crowds collected there

Authorities in New York city have postponed the clean-up of the Manhattan park where anti-Wall Street protesters have been camped out for a month.

The announcement prompted cheers from a crowd that had feared they would be evicted. Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said the owners of the private park, Brookfield Office Properties, had put off the cleaning.

Members of Occupy Wall Street march on Broadway during a celebration march after learning that they can stay on at Zuccotti Park, in New York. However, hours after the decision came there was a clash between protesters and cops. A member of Occupy takes a break from protests and chants and takes to brooms to clean up the park in order to avoid being evicted from the park

Supporters of the protesters had started streaming into the park in the morning darkness before the planned cleaning, forming a crowd of several hundred chanting people.

In New York, a confrontation between police and protesters, who had vowed to stay put through civil disobedience, had been feared. Boisterous cheers floated up from the crowds as the announcement of the postponement circulated, and protesters began polling each other on whether to make an immediate march to Wall Street, a few blocks away.

"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," the deputy mayor's statement said.

The New York Police Department had said it would make arrests if Brookfield requested it and laws were broken. The deputy mayor's statement on Friday said Brookfield believes it can work out an arrangement with the protesters that "will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use," it said.

In a last-ditch bid to stay, protesters had mopped and picked up garbage. While moving out mattresses and camping supplies, organisers were mixed on how they would respond when police arrived.

Nicole Carty, a protester, said, "We tell them, 'Hey the park is clean, there's no need for you to be here,'" she said. "If they insist on coming in, we will continue to occupy the space."

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