Jewish Protesters Blast Occupy Eviction

150 Demonstrators Arrested in Late-Night Raid on Park

Get Out! Police confront demonstrators at the Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan.
getty images
Get Out! Police confront demonstrators at the Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis and Forward Staff

Published November 15, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jewish demonstrators blasted authorities for clearing the Occupy Wall Street protest, saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg betrayed Jewish values by ordering the late-night raid.

“We are outraged by Mayor Bloomberg’s contempt for the rights of American citizens and his use of public health and safety to justify beating and macing nonviolent protesters,” said Daniel Sieradski, who organized Jewish religious observances at the protest site. “The mayor’s actions reflect neither Jewish, nor American, nor human values.”

Demonstrators vowed to retake the protest site Tuesday afternoon but a judge ruled they could not camp out at Zuccotti Park.

An estimated 1,000 baton-wielding police officers descended on Zuccotti Park around 1 am Tuesday. Within a couple of hours, they had cleared protesters out of the lower Manhattan park where they have been for several weeks.

After ordering demonstrators to leave, police moved into the park, followed by Sanitation workers who cleared tents and sleeping bags.

Several dozen protesters refused to leave, shouting, “Whose park? Our park!” Police arrested an estimated 150 people, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Associated Press.

There were no reported injuries and the operation ended without the widespread clashes that marked similar police actions in other cities such as Portland, Ore., and Oakland, Calif.

Jewish protesters, who dub themselves Occupy Judaism, said the police action would not succeed in stopping the movement.

“You cannot evict an idea thats time has come,” Sieradski said. “You cannot evict 99% of America. You cannot evict 99% of humanity.”

By daybreak, the park was entirely cleared of protesters. Authorities said demonstrators would be allowed to return at some point, without tents and sleeping gear.

Daniel Sieradski
Daniel Sieradski

Many protestors regrouped in Foley Square a few blocks away, but it was unclear if any decision had been made about what to do next. Another group linked arms outside City Hall, which is also nearby.

Protesters obtained an early morning court order that apparently permits them to return to the park, which is near the World Trade Center site and close to the Financial District.

Hundreds were marching there in hopes of restoring the protest, but police vowed not to allow them to set up a permanent camp.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement in which he asserted the need to balance the right of free speech with public safety and health concerns.

“The occupation was coming to pose a health and fire safety hazard to the protestors and to the surrounding community,” Bloomberg said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.