Today's planned cleanup of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have been camped out for a month, has been postponed — bringing cheers and relief to those in the park, who thought the move might have been a ruse designed to evict or arrest them.
"It was a dramatic turn" of events when the postponement was announced before dawn, reports NPR's Joel Rose, who is at the scene. "There was a huge round of applause at that point because ... it dawned on everyone that, well, maybe they're not going to be arrested this morning after all."
"It certainly felt like a showdown until the announcement," Joel told NPR newscaster Craig Windham.
In a statement, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said that the private park's owner "believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation."
"In a last-ditch bid to stay, protesters had mopped and picked up garbage. While moving out mattresses and camping supplies, organizers were mixed on how they would respond when police arrived.
"Some protesters said they would resist; others planned to cooperate but engage in nonviolent civil disobedience if they are not allowed back in the park."
On All Things Considered Thursday, NPR's David Folkenflik tracked the news media's coverage of the occupy movement, which has inspired similar protests in other cities.
Update at 10:35 a.m. ET. A Few Arrests.
We've added the phrase "some arrests later" to the headline because of this report from NBC News:
"Clashes broke out between bottle-throwing demonstrators and police on horses and scooters as Occupy Wall Street protesters marched on the Stock Exchange on Friday. ... At least 10 people were arrested amid what was initially described as a celebratory march. ... Police used scooters to try to force protesters off of the street at several locations on Wall Street and Broadway. In some cases, police rode scooters directly at people who stopped traffic and refused to move away. Demonstrators threw bottles and one threw a garbage can at police, according to reporters on the scene."
Update at 7:30 a.m. ET. In Denver, Police Start Clearing Protest Site:
"Dozens of police in riot gear have moved into a park near the state Capitol where hundreds of Occupy Denver protesters have gathered, and police have started to remove the protesters' tents," The Denver Post reports.
On Thursday, the Post says, "Gov. John Hickenlooper held a news conference, along with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, demanding the protesters disperse by 11 p.m. or face arrest for violating state laws that forbid camping on those grounds."
As of about 7 a.m. ET, there had been no arrests, according to the Post.