By Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times –
NEW YORK — Barricades surrounding the park in lower Manhattan where the Occupy Wall Street movement was born were removed Tuesday, with considerable less commotion than when they were erected, enabling anti-greed protesters to easily return.
Just a few police officers and security guards were around as nearly 300 protesters filled the small park Tuesday night and settled in with lasagna served on paper plates, according to the Associated Press.
One protester tried to put up a tent but it was immediately removed by security guards.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne told the New York Daily News, “We determined (the barricades) were not needed.”
On Nov. 15 when the barricades were first erected around the privately owned park, hundreds of police officers were on hand for a middle-of-the-night clearing of what had become a tent-city.
After the November raid on the encampment the owners closely controlled how the park was used, banning sleeping bags and tents. Since then, protesters have continued to hold meetings in the park but have staged their activities in various locations in the area.
Mark Bray, a spokesman for the Occupy Wall Street organizers who had filed a lawsuit to resist the use of the barricades, told the AP that protesters would not attempt to camp out again at the park.
“The plan is not to create a new Zuccotti Park. The plan is to continue what we’ve been doing, which is having various events around foreclosures or around unemployment,” said Bray.
In other Occupy Wall Street news, prosecutors dropped charges this week against nearly two dozen people detained in the first mass arrest on Sept. 24 when some protesters marched in the street around Union Square without a permit.
Nearly 50 other cases are still headed to trial.