November 15, 2011
Zuccotti Park Cleared of Occupy Protesters
by Robert Kropp
Police action to remove activists from original Occupy Movement encampment occurs two days before
planned rally to shut down Wall Street.
The New York Police Department raided the Occupy
Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park early this morning, arresting about 150 protestors
while dismantling the tents and tarps that have been there for two months.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in press conference that "the final decision to act was mine and mine
alone," he ordered the raid after Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, requested that he
do so. In return for exemptions to city zoning regulations, Brookfield is obligated to allow public
use of the privately owned public space for 24 hours a day.
Later this morning, the
protestors obtained a temporary restraining order preventing the city and Brookfield from evicting
them. The judge who issued the order has scheduled a hearing for later today.
occurred just two days before the two-month anniversary of the occupation. Joined by influential
labor unions, the Occupy Movement is planning a Day of Action for Thursday, the central objective
of which will be to shut down Wall Street.
In addition to labor unions and other
organizations, many sustainable investors have recognized an affinity between the Occupy Movement's
focus on economic inequality and their decades of engagement with corporations on aspects of the
issue. Last month, Zevin Asset Management
issued a statement
of support for the movement, in which the Boston-based investment firm said, "As socially
responsible investors, we seek the same goals as those protesting."
After Zevin published
its statement, Blue Summit
Wealth Management expressed its support as well, stating that it will "continue to pressure
corporations through shareholder advocacy for greater transparency, accountability, environmental
standards, and promotion of a just and green economy."
Harrington Investments has dedicated a page
on its web site to support for the movement, stating, "No longer is it acceptable for the wealthy
and the corporate and banking elite of this country to dominate capital markets, democratic
institutions and political power. What is needed is for ordinary citizens to have a voice in
determining their own economic and political fate."
Harrington also documents its three
decades of engagement and advocacy on behalf of economic justice, including the decentralization of
financial institutions and the elimination of corporate campaign contributions and lobbying.
riting in the Huffington Post earlier this month, Rev. Seamus Finn of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) stated, "There are
analogies and lessons to be drawn from the responsible citizenship on display by demonstrators
across the world, and the responsible ownership practiced by active shareholders in corporations.
Many citizens and shareholders feel disenfranchised and like outsiders or spectators when it comes
to the legislative process and the influence of corporations on their lives."
"Shareholders are part owners of corporations and through their responsible ownership can play
a central role in holding corporations accountable and focused on their social, environmental and
financial responsibilities," Rev. Finn continued. "The conversations that are taking place in the
re-occupied public spaces across the country need to be replicated and multiplied wherever
communities gather and we must all participate."