Occupy Wall Street Protesters In Trenton Told To Remove Tents

TRENTON, NJ (AP / WCBS 880) – Participants aligned with the Occupy Wall Street protest have removed their tents from New Jersey’s World War II Memorial in Trenton after police told them they could not keep any “permanent structures” at the site.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney In The NJ Capital

State police told the handful of protesters Thursday at the small memorial site to remove anything that could be considered permanent by Friday after the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs asked for assistance.

Protesters are free to stay. On Friday morning, there were only two.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Paula Dow said Friday that the Veterans Affairs Department is within its rights to enforce rules at the memorial that were already in place before the protest started on Oct. 6. The attorney general’s office represents the Veterans Affairs Department and oversees state police.

“It’s been very peaceful so far,” Dow spokesman Paul Loriquet said of the protesters.

Alexander Higgins, a 31-year-old blogger from Brick who has been at the site nearly every day since Oct. 6, said a state trooper arrived overnight and told the group to remove most of the material they had laying around or face arrest. He said they were told again Friday morning to remove their belongings or the items would be removed by sanitation workers.

After a night of rain, the tents and canopies had been taken down by Friday. Most of the protesters’ belongings were stuffed into large plastic tubs stacked neatly around the memorial, with the exception of an inner tube, and a few yoga mats and couch cushions strewn across marble benches. A generator was powering Higgins’ computer and live video stream of the site.

“These people are all very brave and doing what they feel is right for their country,” Eileen Smyth of Trenton told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney. She has been stopping by daily.

“A lot of people got spooked as the police were out here. It’s [an] intimidation tactic, psychological thing. A lot of people took their own property,” Higgings told Putney.

“These are items people in a public park would bring with them on any given day to any public park,” Higgins said. “People go into parks and set up tables all the time. If we were playing chess at the table, this wouldn’t be a problem.”

Higgins, who has two small children and was laid off from two computer jobs at pharmaceutical companies recently, said he would continue protesting corporate greed as long as he could.

“These jobs are being shipped oversea so that they can be done, basically, by slave labor,” he said. “This country is no longer for the majority of people. It’s for the majority of money.”

In New York City, where the protests began, the site owner backed off ordering people out of Zuccotti Park in order to clean it after demonstrators said they feared the effort was merely a pretext to evict them.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Levon Putney
  • Concerned

    This whole issue is driving me crazy! I work for a large corporation that employs 50,000 people. I am 26 years old, in the middle class, have tens of thousands still to pay back in student loans (because my parents aren’t rich) and I work for everything I get. I also pay taxes – a lot of taxes. Do I complain about any of this? No…. My company treats me well, and no, I do not think the CEO is overpaid. He is very much resposible for my company’s ability to make money, and therefore employ 50,000 people including me. People have to WANT to work in order to work. If you can’t find a job where you are, move somewhere that has jobs. There are more jobs in North Dakota than anyone knows what to do with (thanks to “evil” oil companies). Don’t believe me? Walk down the street in Williston and see how many $15+ offers you get. There are jobs out there, but unfortunately some people would rather complain that they are not being handed things for free instead of going out and workng for them.

  • TomNJ

    Those idiots need to go back to NY and stay there.

    • Vik

      Those idiots and these idiots need to get off those computers that mommy and daddy paid for, go take a shower, go into rehab for all that pot they’ve been smoking and get to work like the rest of us!!!

      • tynkrbelle82

        I am a military spouse. I am also the mother of two toddlers. I am also straight edge. Please don’t pin us all as dirty and lazy- that is NOT who we are. That is what Fox and other conservicant’s try to peg us as. That is NOT the case!

    • p8nt

      Why because they are standing up to corporations, and corrupt politicians?? Both of whom, led us to the economy that we have now. And no, its not Obama’s fault, but people like to blame him because of his race. Like he was the cause of all of this. I think its time for someone to grow up and wake up from the rock that you live in.

  • p8nt

    How is a tent a “permanent structure” ??? BS!!

  • Rachel W.

    There’s more to this story and the media isn’t reporting it:


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