Friday, April 20, 2012

Occupied No More

The Upper Green is occupied no more. 

On Tuesday morning, after hearing one final round of arguments, a panel of three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City ruled that the City of New Haven had the right to remove the Occupy encampment from the New Haven Green. Occupy attorney Norm Pattis does not plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following that ruling, New Haven attorney Irving Pinsky filed a last minute complaint in housing court on behalf of two Occupiers, charging they were tenants who were being evicted without due process. The court rejected the claim, stating the paperwork was not in order. The reason given by  attorney Pinsky? The court would not accept his check. 

Early Wednesday morning the eviction began. By all accounts, most occupiers packed up and left peacefully. Observers had only words of praise for the police, who were taunted by the few Occupiers who refused to go quietly. You can read more about it and see photos here. Thirteen Occupiers were arrested. 

Gone are the tents, the signs, the generators, the portable toilets … A few incongruous items remain stuck high in the tree limbs. [I think I saw a Big Wheel?!?]

As evidenced in this photo I took early Wednesday afternoon, the Green is brown. The earth is hard. One severely stressed maple has failed to leaf out.

The NHPD fenced off the area; the Parks Department and City officials have assessed the damage. The maple will likely have to be cut down, the ground aerated, and new grass planted. You can read the details here

The cost to restore life to the Upper Green? About $25,000. The total cost to the City for the six-month occupation? An estimated $145,000.

But at least the Green and its trees have been liberated in time for Earth Day. 

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