Monday, October 24, 2011

Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street's Campground

Zuccotti Park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park, is a privately-owned 33,000-square-foot  publicly accessible park in Lower Manhattan. It is located between Broadway, Trinity Place, Liberty Street and Cedar Street. The park's northwest corner is across the street from Four World Trade Center. It has been popular with local tourists and financial workers. On September 17, 2011, the "Occupy Wall Street" protest began using Zuccotti Park as a campground and staging area. Because Zuccotti Park is not a publicly owned space, it is not subject to ordinary public park curfew. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on September 28, 2011, that the NYPD could not bar protesters from Zuccotti Park since it is a public plaza that is required to stay open 24 hours a day. "In building this plaza, there was an agreement it be open 24 hours a day," Kelly said. "The owners have put out regulations [about what's allowed in park]. The owners will have to come in and direct people not to do certain things." A spokesperson for Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, expressed concern: "Zuccotti Park is intended for the use and enjoyment of the general public for passive recreation. We are extremely concerned with the conditions that have been created by those currently occupying the park and are actively working with the City of New York to address these conditions and restore the park to its intended purpose. Now many visitors to New York City have added another spot to their list of must-sees — the Occupy Wall Street protest. Tourists from around the world have become regular visitors at the plaza in lower Manhattan where protesters have been demonstrating for the past month. Celebrities including pop star Katy Perry and her husband Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Moore have visited Zuccotti Park to show support for the protesters. These images were made on October 22, 2011 as the protests enter its fifth week.

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