A spokesman for the group encamped in a Lower Manhattan park said demonstrators do not plan to move, after New York announced they must vacate the area for a cleaning Friday morning.
Tyler Combelic said the mayor's anouncement was a "not-so-veiled attempt" to force the protesters from the park, setting up a possible confrontation with authorities. "We have decided that at 7 o'clock tomorrow, we will not leave the park," he said, adding that "we are not opposed to cleaning it ourselves."
Bloomberg met with protesters Wednesday evening and informed them that privately owned Zuccotti Park
, where they have been staying for nearly four weeks, will be cleaned, after the owners voiced their concerns about "unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park." "The Mayor is a strong believer in the First Amendment and
believes that the protesters have a right to continue to protest," the deputy mayor for operations, Cas Holloway, said in a written statement. He added that the current situation in the park is "not in the best interests of the protesters, residents or the city."
The cleaning will be done in several stages, and when certain areas are cleaned, protesters will be able to come back to the park if they obey the rules set forth by the owners, , the statement said. "As the protest has continued, Brookfield has expressed concern about its inability to clean the park and maintain it in a condition fit for public use," Holloway said in the statement....