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The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
Dee Alpert
Francesco Alexander Portelos
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
 
Bloomberg Tells Occupy Wall Street Protesters They Must Leave Zuccotti Park So That The Space Can Be "Cleaned"
It looks like Friday is going to be an interesting day at Zuccotti Park. Just two days after declaring that the occupiers of Wall Street could stay in the park indefinitely, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night that protesters will have to leave at least temporarily for a cleaning of the park on Friday. And there are hints that the company that owns the park wants the NYPD to evict the protesters permanently.
          
Bloomberg sets up confrontation with occupiers
Mayor's plan to have the NYPD clear protesters from Zuccotti Park for cleaning on Friday is met with skepticism

LINK

It looks like Friday is going to be an interesting day at Zuccotti Park. Just two days after declaring that the occupiers of Wall Street could stay in the park indefinitely, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last night that protesters will have to leave at least temporarily for a cleaning of the park on Friday. And there are hints that the company that owns the park wants the NYPD to evict the protesters permanently.

There is little chance that the protesters will comply with a temporary removal request — and zero chance that they will willingly leave for good.

Bloomberg briefly visited the park last night, and his office later released a statement declaring, “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. Brookfield conveyed these concerns in a letter they sent to the City.”

It continues: “The cleaning will be done in stages and the protesters will be able to return to the areas that have been cleaned, provided they abide by the rules that Brookfield has established for the park.”

Emphasis added. One of the big questions here is what exactly those rules are, how they will be enforced, and by whom; I’ve asked Brookfield for comment on its rules and will update if I hear back.

The letter from Brookfield to the city, which I’ve posted below, argues that “conditions at the park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe conditions” and requests “the assistance of the New York City Police Department to help clear the park” for inspection and cleaning.” The letter then continues, ambiguously:

Once we have completed our cleanup and maintenance, we would ask that the Department assist Brookfield on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of all those using and enjoying the park.

That line could be interpreted as a request to permanently evict the occupiers. The letter also claims that having mattresses and sleeping bags in the park violates Brookfield’s rules. So the city’s pledge that protesters will be able to return — but only if they follow Brookfield’s rules — could be interpreted as a de facto eviction announcement.

Also worth remembering here: Bloomberg’s longtime girlfriend, Diana Taylor, sits on the board of Brookfield.

Keep in mind that moving the protesters out of the park is no simple thing. There is an infrastructure set up, of sleeping areas, an in-house media center with a generator where much of the Internet work gets done, a food area with racks and tables, a growing library, and so on.

The protesters — who have a sanitation committee that has been keeping the park relatively clean, given the circumstances — appear to have no intention of leaving the park.

In response to Bloomberg, some protesters have announced ”Operation #wallstcleanup” for Thursday and Friday, in which the park will be thoroughly cleaned by the occupiers and then any attempt to evict by the NYPD will be nonviolently resisted. Here’s how the plan — which has not yet been endorsed by the entire group — is described:

On Wednesday/Thursday, all campers/supporters should reach out to friends/family/anyone to donate or purchase brooms, mops, squeegees, dust pans, garbage bags, power washers and any other cleaning supplies to be collected at sanitation. The sanitation committee should move full-speed ahead on purchase of bins allocated by consensus at GA.

After General Assembly on Thursday, we’ll have a full-camp cleanup session. Sanitation can coordinate, and anyone who is available will help with the massive community effort!

Then, Friday morning, we’ll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms. If NYPD attempts to enter, we’ll peacefully/non-violently stand our ground and those who are willing will get arrested.

Afterwards, we’ll march with brooms and mops to Wall Street to do a massive #wallstcleanup march, where the real mess is!

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Believe Zuccotti Park Cleaning A Ploy To End Occupation
LINK

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes Occupy Wall Street protesters have a right to freedom of speech at a Manhattan park, but not to keep the owners of the public space from cleaning it.

Officials say Bloomberg visited with protesters Wednesday to tell them of plans to clean Zuccotti Park by the end of the week. Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement the protest has "created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park."

The park is owned by Brookfield Properties (for whom Bloomberg's longtime girlfriend, Diana Taylor, is a board member), which has asked the police commissioner Ray Kelly for help from the NYPD to clear the park so it can be cleaned. In a letter to Kelly (see below), Brookfield Properties wrote, "The situation continues to worsen and we need your assistance to ensure public safety."

Holloway said the cleaning will be done in stages Friday. Protesters will have to leave, but will be allowed to return after it's cleaned. (UPDATE: Ray Kelly confirms that the protesters will not be allowed to return to the park with camping gear or any other equipment that has enabled the occupation.)

Protesters have begun to pre-empt the city, however, vowing to clean Zucotti Park themselves. Kobi Skolnick, 30, who has been working at the park since the second day of the occupation, said 50 to 60 activists have begun cleaning the park this afternoon. "People are cleaning very hard," he said. Without running water, Skolnick said the Park denizens have had to transport water from different places in large containers. There are clean-up crews at all corners of the park.

Contrary to what Brookfield Properties or Bloomberg might think, Skolnick asserts that the occupation has been grueling work; he said that he has been working 16-hour days on site. "It's not a picnic here," he said. "I'm not here for a picnic. We are here to change society nonviolently."

According to a new Facebook event, "Operation #WallStreetCleanup", the Sanitation Committee of #OccupyWallStreet is currently soliciting donations for "brooms, mops, squeegees, dust pans, garbage bags, power washers and any other cleaning supplies."

And once they've cleaned up the park Thursday, well, there could be more mass arrests:

Then, Friday morning, we'll awake and position ourselves with our brooms and mops in a human chain around the park, linked at the arms. If NYPD attempts to enter, we'll peacefully/non-violently stand our ground and those who are willing will get arrested.

Afterwards, we'll march with brooms and mops to Wall Street to do a massive #wallstcleanup march, where the real mess is!

Protesters appear weary of the attempts to clean the park. One demonstrator told CBS, “I think the mayor and some of his ‘cronies’ are trying to use tactics to get us to move out of the park.”

Skolnick insisted the occupation isn't going anywhere. "We will not just let them kick us out," he said. "We are not going to give in easily at all. We are here to stay. We will continue to do what we are doing here...There is not even a question about tomorrow. Not even a question. It's clear we are staying."

Joshua Stephens, a 33-year-old activist, said he plans on being at the park in the morning. Of the police threat, he said: "It's obviously an attempt to dampen the movement and to dampen the presence in the park. The problem that I see with it, it's actually a provocative and dangerous escalation."

Stephens thinks it's just bad politics to mess with the activists. Occupation Wall Street is doing well in national polls, and has gained support from major unions and top Democrats. He described the move by Bloomberg as unncessary. "They're basically flipping everybody the finger," he said, adding that tomorrow's standoff could hurt the mayor. "It could result in Bloomberg's goons being on national television clubbing union workers. It just looks like a stunningly stupid and arrogant provocation. It's bound to backfire and bound to make him look like an asshole."

By 6 p.m., boxes of donated flowers had arrived at the Park. Piles of blankets were awaiting transport to laundry facilities. The major clean up had been completed. "The flowers look amazing," Skolnick said.

Bryan James, 23, one of the heads of the sanitation crew, said that cleaning has always been a round-the-clock operation. "Bloomberg's claims of [unsanitary conditions] are a farce," he told HuffPost. "They are propaganda."

But today at least, James said the group gathered all the personal belongings off the ground and went to work. "We got on our hands and knees," he said, "and scrubbed the ground." They also repaired flower beds and electrical outlets.

Lauren Digioia, 26, is also a member of the sanitation crew. She described a fairly complex and efficient operation where recycling is collected and transported off site every evening, and city sanitation pick up trash from all four corners of the park. She added that the crew has "every necessity from brooms and brushes, bleach, gloves, tarps, bags."

Bloomberg, who said earlier this week that protesters can stay in Zucotti indefinitely, was greeted with "chants, jeers and Bronx cheers" Wednesday night. Someone screamed "About time." And someone else asked Hizzoner if they could get a permit for amplification equipment. Bloomberg said no.

Previously Wednesday, the 26th day of Occupy Wall Street, police arrested four protesters outside JP Morgan Chase, where they were demanding a meeting with Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.

Brookfield's Letter to NYPD asking to "clear" Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters

 
© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation