Fire Officials Conduct Safety Inspection Of Zuccotti Park, Remove Generators And Gasoline Cans
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Protection or pulling the plug?
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The FDNY said they were looking for safety violations like generators and fuel. Specifically at issue were propane tanks and gas generators being used to keep the protesters warm. The inspection, involving dozens of firefighters accompanied by police, was overseen by Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano.
Protesters turned over six generators and a dozen of gasoline cans, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. He reiterated that the protesters can stay as long as they want, provided that they follow the law.
“Stay within the law, you have a right to do it. Break the law, police department knows exactly what to do — they’ll do what they’re supposed to do,” Bloomberg said, speaking on his weekly radio show on WOR.
From this point on, no matter how cold it gets, the generators will be forbidden, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported. Some protesters say their generators aren’t a danger to the park or to the people living there.
“We know what we’re doing, it’s safe here,” said one demonstrator. “We have fire extinguishers if there were ever a fire to break out. We’ve been going on 47 days and a fire never broken out. We’re on point, we know what we’re doing.”
“They were not being used to heat,” said another protester.
Some protesters said they will try and get other generators to bring into the park, while others said they will look for different power sources, which may not be as safe as generators.
Earlier this week, fire officials had raised concerns to the city about potential fire hazards in the park, especially as the temperature drops. Protesters are using tents, sleeping bags and more to help them stay warm.
“Twelve hours in advance, we could have had something else set up here, but right now we’re blacked out,” said a demonstrator.
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It will be interesting to see how the protesters cope this weekend, when New York City may get its first snow of the season – even if it is expected to be just trace amounts.
Some of the protesters say they think this is the beginning of the city’s move to evict them, but the city says that its action was for public safety and that nothing else is currently planned.
“This wasn’t about public safety. This is pretty obviously they’re trying to hit us where it hurts,” protester Pauly Kostora said. “I think it’s intelligent or strategic because now we have no electricity.”
Meanwhile, the protesters once again took their show on the road. They’re marched through Midtown, heading to the headquarters of Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and JPMorganChase.
About 400 protesters handed over letters they said were from Americans worried about the economic situation in the country and those struggling to pay mortgages and credit card debt. Letters were also read out loud as workers from those banks watched from their office windows. Some protesters were even dressed in costumes, including some in pirate outfits and a marching band.
Saturday, the group is planning to protest in front of City Hall as part of a civil rights march.
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