For some it was an extraordinarily uncomfortable night of upright dozing at Zuccotti Park, but for others it was the first time they'd spent the night inside in weeks. Protesters ousted from the park by the New York Police Department's 1 a.m. raid on Tuesday spent close to 24 hours marching, demonstrating, and waiting to see whether they would be let back in. When they finally were, it was without their camping gear, which meant those who had made their beds in the park for the nearly two-month duration of the encampment had to find alternate arrangements at friends' places, in churches, or in their own homes. After a well-attended general assembly at the park outlasted a rumored 10 p.m. curfew, most drifted off into the drizzle to find their first indoor bed in a while. But a "few dozen" stuck around, according to The New York Times, and suffered for their cause.
The park's new rules, which police and private security guards enforced overnight, prohibit tents, sleeping bags, and even lying down. New signs went up in the park reminding everybody of the new restrictions. Alex Goldmark, who filed an early morning report with WNYC, shared this photo on his Tumblr:
Even though the act of sleeping isn't banned under the rules, police and security guards woke those who stuck around overnight, reported DNAinfo. But most of those woken up had contraband sleeping bags or blankets. Still, a few managed to catch some shuteye while complying with the park's rules, as this photo from Bloomberg reporter Mark Gimein shows:
Many had had all their belongings confiscated, The Times pointed out, including winter clothes. One man salvaged only a pair of sweatpants, which he used as a sort of pillow. Fortunately for the protesters, the temperature was mild overnight (hovering around 60), and the city has said protesters can come get their stuff from a Sanitation Department garage on Wednesday, if they can prove it's theirs.
As DNAinfo reported, many who didn't have their own apartments or friends' places turned to churches, which welcomed them in. After the early wakeup shock on Tuesday, lots of protesters were sompletely exhausted. One volunteer at a church across from the park told The Times protesters trickled in all night. "Some were so tired they just fell right asleep."
A few minutes before 7 a.m., about 25 people remained in the park, reported the New York Daily News's Erik Badia. By 7:40 a.m., the press outnumbered the protesters, News reporter Matt Lysiak wrote. And here's a sight you haven't seen in a while: What looks like a businessman spending time in the park, courtesy of Carl Lavin's Instagram:
The former accoutrements of Occupy Wall Street, such as the medical tent and the kitchen, have obviously been kept from rebuilding in full. In his WNYC story, Goldmark described a hastily assembled first aid station, tucked under two beach umbrellas. And the library has started a meager resurgence (photo via People's Library WordPress).
Later in the morning, Lysiak photographed a growing stack of books tucked into individual bags. The city has the rest of the collection in its garage, and volunteers are expected to pick it up sometime Wednesday.