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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.

While 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.

The raid 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.

W 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."

 

 
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