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Bloomberg: Zuccotti Park closed while city reviews court order

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Zuccotti Park would remain closed while the city reviews a court order preventing authorities from barring the Occupy Wall Street protestors from bringing sleeping bags and tents.

The court order was handed down a few hours after the New York City Police Department cleared the park early Tuesday morning, temporarily, so it could be cleaned out for sanitation and safety reasons. Bloomberg had said that protestors would be allowed to return after the park had been cleaned, but would no longer be permitted to spend the night.

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"We are now ready to reopen the park but understand that there is a court order which we have not yet actually received enjoining us from enforcing the park's rules and so the park will remain closed until we can clarify that situation," Bloomberg said at a press conference on Tuesday. "But I want to stress that our intention was to reopen the park and to let people go in and express their First Amendment rights to protest or their First Amendment rights to just peacefully enjoy the park.

"In the future, protesters and the general public will be welcome there to exercise their first amendment rights and otherwise enjoy the park but will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps, and going forward must follow all park rules."

Bloomberg said that the park had become "next to impossible" for the public to safely navigate or for medical personnel to assure public safety.

"The dangers posed were evident last week when an EMT was injured as protestors attempted to prevent him and several protesters from helping a mentally ill man who was menacing others," Bloomberg said. "As an increasing number of tents and structures were erected, these dangers increased. It has become increasingly difficult even to monitor activity in the park to protect protesters and the public."

For the past two months the park has been the center of the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street protests that have sparked similar stakeouts around the country.

A number of Democrats have embraced the protests while many Republicans have criticized them. Bloomberg, an independent himself, has sometimes expressed disagreement with aspects of Occupy Wall Street but has said he supports their right to protest.

Read the court order below:

Order Re Liberty Park

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