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‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protest Prompts Concern About Conditions In Zuccotti Park

Organizing Web Site Goes Down Friday Morning
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(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been based out of Zuccotti Park for the past three weeks lost their online home briefly.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports: Residents Are Complaining About The Protesters

Friday morning, visitors to the Occupy Wall Street website were greeted with a message that said the website was “temporarily down for a hardware upgrade.”

“Please check back soon,” read a brief message on the website, along with “So sorry.”

By 9 a.m., though, the site was back up.

The physical occupation, however, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Zuccotti Park’s owners – Brookfield Office Properties – are required to grant the public access to the park. However, they’re somewhat frustrated by the conditions that are emerging there.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports: Ray Kelly On The NYPD’s Response

“Sanitation is a growing concern,” Brookfield said in a statement. “Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight… because the protestors refuse to cooperate… the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”

Police have fielded complaints about the noise, garbage and barricades that make it difficult to get anywhere, especially during the marches, reported WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

“We also spoke with the protesters about other sites that they might also be looking at,” said Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1. “Since Zuccotti Park is obviously a smaller park, and the protests seem to be getting larger each and every day.”

Protester Yusneia Beerian says the protesters are making an effort to be good neighbors. Beerian says protesters are sweeping sidewalks and stop their drumming at night.

“Even if the tomorrow this plaza is cleaned out, the struggle continues,” Beerian said.

Photos: Occupy Wall Street

“We are accommodating peaceful protests. We are proud of the fact that we do that in this city,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.”People are going to be here for an extended period of time. We’re going to accommodate them as long as they do it peacefully and in accordance with the laws and regulations.”

“Right now, they’re on private property and people who own that property don’t have the power to eject them,” Kelly said.

Meanwhile, Kelly claimed that some protesters were deliberately stirring up trouble and sparking skirmishes with his officers.

“They actually had a countdown – 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 – they grouped together, they joined arms and they charged police,” Kelly said. “They attacked the police. They wanted to get into Wall Street.”

Kelly warned protesters that if they deliberately attacked police they can expect a stern response.

“They’re going to be met with force when they do that. This is just common sense,” Kelly said.

On his weekly radio show on WOR, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he’s sympathetic to what some of the protestors are complaining about and indicated he’s inclined to let the demonstrations play out as long as they remain peaceful.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Bloomberg Speaks About Protest

“I think what you see here, is a lot of people are disaffected,” Bloomberg said. “Whether they see government not working or they read about government not working, it’s a good chance to get together and protest.”

He also noted that the protest is starting to gain momentum around the country and said while some of the demonstrators’ complaints are legitimate, others are not.

Should more be done to improve conditions at Zuccotti Park? If the protests continue to grow, should they take up a new space?

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