(NaturalNews) The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in New York City's Zuccotti Park recently came to a halt when Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered a massive sweep to evict all protesters and their belongings from park grounds. But rather than relocate the protesters' possessions to a holding facility in Manhattan as was promised, New York City police instead destroyed tents, personal laptops and computer equipment, and even medical devices and medicine.
The stated goal of the eviction was to rid the park of tents, sleeping bags and other materials that had allegedly been causing health and safety concerns. But The Raw Story reports that police also needlessly confiscated and destroyed various personal items and medicines as well, which some say was completely unnecessary and hypocritical.
"Everything, everything we had: gone," said Chris Carter, a firefighter from New Jersey who had volunteered on the medical staff of OWS since the beginning of the movement, to The Raw Story. "All the medications we had: Tylenol, cough medicine, two AED Defibrillators units, vitamins, an asthma inhaler. Nothing left."
Having medical staff and equipment on hand at the protests had actually been relieving much of the demand for hospital and emergency services, since protesters were able to address health needs on site rather than at local medical facilities. But New York City's removal and destruction of these key resources shows that it is less concerned with maintaining health and safety than it is with intimidating and trampling the rights of protesters.
At the same time, others in the movement believe the eviction is actually beneficial because it will force protesters to regroup and form a next-phase plan of action throughout the city and country. In some areas, OWS protesters are now occupying foreclosed homes and empty lots (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/06/...), while in others they are working to pass laws to restrict municipalities from dealing with lawless and irresponsible banking institutions (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Occu...).
"We all knew this was coming," said Pete Dutro, head of the OWS group's finances, to the Huffington Post concerning the eviction. "Now it's time for us to not be tucked away in Zuccotti Park, and have different areas of occupation throughout the city."