City Scuffle: Occupy Syracuse no longer a walk in the park

The camp of Occupy Syracuse has been removed.

The camp of Occupy Syracuse has been removed. Photo by Amanda Seef.

Word of the 8 a.m. eviction notice needs a second glance, 9:30 in the television room of the Syracuse Athletic Club, downtown YMCA — off red, subtle, at the top of the cover. Inside, sharp black bold, Page 3. Too late to negotiate, the mayor tells the Civil Liberties Union folks. The country’s, perhaps the world’s, model Occupation would be challenged to vacate by police, probably in the midst of high winds and heavy snow. An estimated 120 people gather at the Occupation the night before for a General Assembly on options. A significant number volunteer that they would submit to arrest, and a suggestion that local policy allows for a visit to arrestees before incarceration, fosters a number equal to those volunteering arrest committing to be visitors, with an accompanying call to “Occupy the Jail.”

The hovering action seems sudden. The police have complimented the occupiers on their comportment. The mayor has visited the site several times to talk with occupiers. As long as they keep the agreed upon deal, it’s cool with her. But the action is now necessitated by reports of continued violations of the deal, of occupiers possessing items which could cause fires.

Approaching Perseverance Park from the east at noon, the bus line-up blocks the view of tents targeted for termination. The crossing clock at Fayette and Salina counting down from 12, as if offering time to think before taking the last shot. The tents are still there. Less in number than in warmer times, but the largest impressive with a wood framed door and shiny new knob. Eight a.m., according to Civil Liberties Dennis, there were no evictors, no snow, no winds, but by his estimate 100 people, ready for whatever. “Like in other cities,” he reflects, NYCLU credentials on display on his chest, “they’ll come late at night when very few are here.”

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