NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Several hundred Occupy Wall Street protesters joyfully returned to Zuccotti Park Tuesday.

By sunrise Wednesday, though, they were down to just a handful remaining in the park.

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The return of the protesters took place after police removed barriers erected there following the ouster of the protesters back in November.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports

The barriers came down after the New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter saying the barriers were essentially illegal and in violation of zoning laws.

Police spokesman Paul Browne said the NYPD and Brookfield Office Properties, which owns the park, had been discussing removing the barriers last week. They decided to remove them Tuesday, Browne said, because they felt they were no longer necessary.

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One man told 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten that returning to the park felt liberating.

“It just feels wonderful, we feel liberated, and the community here is vibrant,” he said.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Scene

Three people were arrested at the park after the barriers came down, apparently lying down, which is in violation of the park’s rules.

Meanwhile, the Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating misconduct complaints against police made by dozens of protesters. They include allegations of improper use of force ranging from handcuffs that were to tight to improper use of a night stick.

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Is the “Occupy” protest fizzling and played out or just lying low for the winter? Sound off in our comments section.