Police eject Occupy protestors from N.Y. park, arrest six

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2012 11:29 AM
Police eject Occupy protestors from N.Y. park, arrest six

By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 100 protestors from the reawakened Occupy Wall Street movement were ejected from Union Square Park early Wednesday after a standoff with police resulted in six arrests.

Police took the unusual step of closing the park just north of Greenwich Village a short time after midnight, ordering the crowd out, said a spokesman for the New York City Police Department.

"They were warned to leave the park due to it being closed," said a police spokesman. He added that no police or protesters were injured in Wednesday's action.

Witnesses said there were more than 100 protestors, but police declined to give a crowd estimate.

One person, Paul Schoechert, who refused to leave the park was arrested at 12:20 a.m. for disorderly conduct and violating a local law on park closure.

The crowd continued to mill around the area and before dawn five other men were arrested for blocking pedestrian traffic, police said. Charges against them range from obstruction of justice to resisting arrest.

They were identified as Yonatan Miller of Brooklyn, Dylan Novak of New Jersey, Devin Balkind of New York, Edward Hall of New York and Edward Mortimer of Maine, police said.

After months of dormancy, the Occupy movement gathered last weekend to mark the six months since its founding in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to decry economic inequality, and the celebration resulted in 76 arrests, police said.

Just hours after being cleared, Union Square was expected to be filled with crowds called to A Million Hoodie March on Wednesday evening to demand the arrest of a neighborhood watch captain, identified as white by police, in the shooting of an unarmed black Florida teen.

"Organizers of the New York City protest are asking people from across the city to throw on their hoodie and join others in Union Square, NYC at 6:00 p.m. as they demand justice for the murder of Trayvon Martin," march organizers said in a press release.

(Editing by Paul Thomasch)