Demonstrators encamped in a Lower Manhattan park faced New York’s first snow storm of the season Saturday without the benefit of propane tanks and generators that they had been using to cook food and keep warm.
“It’s pretty dirty, and we’re all freezing cold,” said Alec Courtney, who says he runs a shoe-shine stand at the city’s Zuccotti Park to make money. “We just try to huddle together.”
Courtney, a resident of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, says he’s been camping at the park for the last 20 days and plans to stay there — despite the inclement weather — to support “the cause.”
The group has rallied against what it describes as corporate greed while asserting that the nation’s wealthiest 1% hold inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population.
A day earlier, up to 40 firefighters removed the group’s propane tanks and six generators, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. That left the demonstrators to battle the cold weather seeping through their tents, blankets and sleeping bags.
“These are fire hazards (and) against the law,” Bloomberg said during his weekly WOR-AM radio show Friday. “Our first concern is safety.”
Demonstrators described the removal as an attempt to restrict Internet use and make their lives more difficult as a cold front moves into the region.