Occupy NOLA evictions Tues. morning



Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 6 at 1:27 PM


NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday morning's eviction was a well thought out and executed plan.

During an early morning news conference, the mayor said he thought the way the city handled clearing out the park was an "example to the rest of the country."


The occupiers were forced out after 62 days in the park..

Before the sun came up, a force of 150 New Orleans police officers moved in - moving out anyone who occupied Duncan Plaza.

"It was kind of terrifying," said occupier Janelle Farmer.

"Uh, hectic perhaps," said another occupier, Chad.

"It's important to remember anarchy is still in effect and there is no law," another occupier said.  

The law is what Landrieu used as the reason to evict and remove about 150 protestors and structures from the park.

"It just got to the point where we believe that there was public health at risk and public safety at risk and that the First Amendment rights were being executed in a way that was not in compliance," Landrieu said.

According to the mayor, the city ordinance does not allow people to set up in the park after hours, and it's what Chief Ronal Serpas saw Saturday night that disturbed him.

"I saw open flames when I walked around in there Saturday night. I saw pilfered electricity when I walked around there Saturday night. I saw broken glasses. When I walked around there Saturday night, I saw human excrement in public places, that's a public health hazard. All these issues have to be considered and have to be acted upon for the benefit of the public at large," Serpas said.

While most occupiers moved out peacefully, some continued to protest.

"You throw away their shelters you throw away their food," said an occupier who didn't want to leave.

And, as long as its during normal business hours, the mayor said they are allowed to do so.

"The protesters, to the extent that they want to continue to do that, are welcomed to come back and exercise First Amendment rights in Duncan Plaza with accordance to law and that is generally during daylight hours, when the park can be secured and protected and we can make sure public safety is not at risk," Landrieu said.

Chief Serpas said only one person was arrested during the eviction Tuesday morning.

Robert Rich, 22, of Kansas City, Missouri "asked to be arrested."

As for as the cleanup of the park, 54 crew members from the sanitation department, parks and parkway, property management and the DDD all worked to dismantle the tents and throw away any trash.

There is no estimate yet on how much that cost the city.