NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -Day two of cleaning up the outside of City Hall got underway in Lower Manhattan on Thursday.

Crews started to clear the area of debris and graffiti left behind by a camp of protesters. The NYPD, meanwhile, is standing guard to make sure they don’t come back, CBS2’s John Dias reported.

The remnants of the month-long, illegal camp of protesters is being erased with power washers and scrub brushes.

MORE: NYPD Clears Occupy City Hall Encampment, Mayor Says ‘Health And Safety Issues Were Growing’

“I believe them coming and cleaning up the place was a good thing,” said Allen Littmen, a Coney Island resident.

Littman said he’s a proud supporter of Black Lives Matter, but thought the encampment was getting out of control.

“It was really bad. If you look around, there’s really a lot of graffiti all over the place. But, I’m glad they came to help and just cleaned it up,” he said.

Seven-hundred officers, in full riot gear, raided the encampment just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday – taking down tarps and clearing people out.

Seven people were arrested, including one who allegedly threw a brick at police.

MORE: Protesters Occupy Area Outside City Hall Demanding $1 Billion Cut From NYPD Budget

“I’m personally just glad that it’s out of here. It was a real mess,” said Jerrell Eldridge from The Bronx. “That’s not the way to go about getting police reform.”

On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the encampment was cleared for health reasons.

On Thursday, he said the focus is on cleaning up.

“We are cleaning up everything around the site, down here by City Hall and anything that happens on a public building we will do the same,” said de Blasio.

RELATED STORY: Mayor de Blasio Responds To Anti-Police Graffiti Near City Hall; ‘Graffiti Is Never Acceptable’

Protesters said crews could erase the visible markings, but not their demands, that include calls to cut the police budget.

During Wednesday night’s torrential downpour, close to 100 protesters headed back toward City Hall.

Police moved quickly to barricade the area, but protesters clashed with officers near Foley Square.

“We are reclaiming our space. It’s as simple as that,” said a protester.

City officials told CBS2 the area surrounding City Hall will be locked down – with barricades and a heavy police presence – for several weeks.

Without the camp, protesters said, they’ll go back to holding rallies on the streets.

 

 

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