The Occupation of Zuccotti Park Is Over... Or Is It?

Well, here's what Zuccotti Park looked like this morning, after hundreds of NYPD officers dismantled Occupy Wall Street's headquarters in an early morning raid. But a judge now says occupiers can return with all their gear.

Zuccotti Park was hosed down and every trace of the 99% was removed. Bloomberg said that safety and public health necessitated the cleaning, and that protesters would be allowed back in the park, but "will not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps..." which would mean the effective end of the occupation.

But a judge disagreed. After lawyers for the occupiers protested the raid, a judge issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the city or Brookfield Properties, which owns the park, from evicting protesters or "preventing protesters from re-entering the park with tents and other property previously utilized." (Would have been nice to have this order before cops destroyed the entire encampment!)

So, protesters are now headed back to the squeaky-clean Zuccotti for the moment.

There's a hearing at 11:30 a.m. about Zuccotti, and it's entirely possible protesters could be forced out for good after that. But the new attention from the raid has certainly just galvanized protesters and the media, after the Occupy story had turned into a depressing cocktail of body fluids and violence. Pick your outrage: Freedom of speech quashed! 5,000 books destroyed! A reporter roughed up! And, worst of all: Think of how happy all the goddamn bankers are.

[Image via AP]