By Chris Francescani
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Occupy Wall Street protesters late Thursday took over the empty set of television crime drama "Law & Order: SVU," which built a mock tent city for an episode based on the movement, but they were soon removed by police.
The set was designed to look like Manhattan's original Zuccotti Park encampment complete with tents and signs, and plans called for the TV show to shoot there on Friday morning, according to protesters who spoke with crew members.
It was empty when protesters arrived at midnight, but they were ejected around 1 a.m. when police moved in, protesters said. Cheers rose up when cops with bullhorns announced that the film permit for the shoot had been revoked.
"It was both kind of cathartic and nostalgic, and kind of mind-bending as well," said organizer Jake Begroot, 26, of Queens. "It was a real occupation of a fake, set up occupation. It was a mock-upation."
Another protester said that Occupy Wall Street protesters simply couldn't resist the irony of occupying a TV set built to represent their encampment, from which they were evicted last month. The set was built several blocks from Zuccotti Park, in front the Manhattan State Supreme Court building.
"You evict us from Liberty Square, and then build a faux Liberty Square?" protester Han Shan asked rhetorically. "C'mon. We're going to have to go spend some time in that space. It was really fun and joyous."
A spokesman for NBC Universal, which produces the "Law & Order" franchise, declined to comment. The New York City Police Department had no immediate comment, a spokesperson said.
The "Law & Order" franchise of TV shows is well-known for its episodes with themes taken from real-life crimes and court cases.
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)