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New York - Rain, Raid Fears Raise Tension At NY Occupy Wall Street

Published on: October 27, 2011 05:45 PM
By: Reuters
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FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2011 file photo, people sleep in New York's Zuccotti Park, home to Occupy Wall Street protesters. With thousands of people roughing it in parks for up to six weeks related to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, public health is a growing worry in the encampments. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2011 file photo, people sleep in New York's Zuccotti Park, home to Occupy Wall Street protesters. With thousands of people roughing it in parks for up to six weeks related to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, public health is a growing worry in the encampments. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

New York - Cold, wind, rain and fear of a police raid put New York’s Occupy Wall Street protesters on edge on Thursday, sparking conflicts at the 6-week-old camp over even the most mundane points of park life.

The protesters, who are angry about economic inequality, struggled to shield themselves from wind and rain at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, their mood dampened further by suggestions the first snow could fall on Saturday.

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“I would rather there was another option,” Lael Gillette, 27, an unemployed chef from Rockford, Illinois, said of living outdoors in the park near Wall Street, adding that he has only had two hours of sleep in three days.

Protesters have erected tents and tarps over parts of the concrete park, but appeared to be failing in their battle to keep warm and dry—the latest in a series of issues that have led to fraying tempers among those living together.

There was also concern the movement’s days in the park might be numbered after the eviction this week of demonstrators from parks in other U.S. cities, such as Oakland, California, where police used tear gas and stun grenades on Tuesday.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said there was little the city could do about the protesters until the park owners, Brookfield Office Properties, file a complaint.

Meanwhile, internal strife has sprouted in the camp.

Mediation is under way between protesters and some of the movement’s musicians, who were drumming up to 10 hours a day and refuse to reduce the noise to the two hours agreed to by the protesters and the local Lower Manhattan community.

And protesters staffing the camp’s kitchen—which Occupy Wall Street says feeds up to a 1,000 people daily—have downsized their menu to deter the homeless and freeloaders who have been taking advantage of the hospitality.

The change of fare from the kitchen did not go down well with some patrons.

“Where’s the meat at? They ain’t got no meat!” screamed one man who stomped around the park’s perimeter looking for the sausage patty he said he needed to start his day. He was forced to content himself with a chocolate chip muffin.

A lone New York police officer walked through the Zuccotti Park on Thursday morning, drawing a crowd of protesters who tailed him closely, filming his every step.

“The cops look like they’re coming in,” said Christopher Guerra, an unemployed artist. There were only a handful of police officers, however, standing around the park.

But crime was a concern. One of the protesters who is part of the park’s self-styled security operation cited the proliferation of tents that popped up in past week.

“Privacy causes crime,” said Sean McKeown of Queens, who spends his days in the park but goes home at night. “Drug use has gone up.”


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1

 Oct 27, 2011 at 06:10 PM The_Truth Says:

Bring on the snow & cold weather!

2

 Oct 27, 2011 at 06:56 PM lamdan Says:

Why cut out the free loaders that sounds conservative to me?

3

 Oct 27, 2011 at 07:17 PM amerikaner Says:

hope they get soaked

6

 Oct 27, 2011 at 07:53 PM Rachel W. Says:

Time to pack up and go home, guys, to face reality, like the rest of us folks. Can't live a life of fantasy forever.

7

 Oct 27, 2011 at 08:25 PM ELM Says:

Good...the cold,wet weather can't come soon enough!

8

 Oct 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM Anonymous Says:

They can't feed the homeless? But they have no prob telling the 1% too... Hypocrites

9

 Oct 28, 2011 at 07:47 AM concerned_Jew Says:

Let them feed the homeless. They are complaining about the rich and then they won't even feed the homeless who are less fortunate. What a bunch of hypocrites. But stay there, please. I love the drama. It's great. Can wait to see what happens next. If there are any Jews there, go home now, and say Tehillim. It's much more effective in changing the world, and besides, it's getting cold and wet out there. Go home now before the city looses its patience and sends in the police to give them a beating or worse.

10

 Oct 28, 2011 at 07:49 AM concerned_Jew Says:

Get out now before the police and the city loose their patience and start beating or worse. Love the drama.

11

 Oct 28, 2011 at 08:09 AM Grumpy Says:

"“The cops look like they’re coming in,” said Christopher Guerra, an unemployed artist. There were only a handful of police officers, however, standing around the park.

"unemployed artist" = redundant

12

 Oct 28, 2011 at 08:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Why don't the owners of the park file a complaint, ordering eviction of those squatters? What are they afraid of?

13

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