New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Zuccotti Park was evacuated in the middle of the night "to reduce the risk of confrontation."
He said in a statement early Tuesday morning that it was also conducted overnight "to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhood."
Bloomberg says protesters will be allowed back in the park after it is cleaned. But he says protesters will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps and will have to follow all park rules.
He says the law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day.
Since the Occupy Wall Street protesters took it over almost two months ago, he says it has not been available to anyone else.