By Agence France-Presse
Friday, November 4, 2011
By Sebastian Smith
NEW YORK — Fears of a possible police crackdown spread Friday through New York’s Occupy Wall Street camp in the wake of violent clashes between police and protesters in California.
The camp that popped up in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park seven weeks ago, inspiring similar anti-Wall Street demonstrations across the United States and in London, faces mounting political pressure, along with plummeting temperatures.
The occupywallst.org website reported “rampant” rumors of police action and warned: “NYPD (police) could move in as early as tonight, or it could be next week. We know that our adversaries are trying to build political cover for eviction by demonizing us in the press.”
Ex-Marine Jose Mediavilla, 29, cut a bizarre sight wearing a gas mask while using a broom and dustpan to clean around the cramped tent village.
“I’ve had it the whole time in case of raids,” he said. “There were a lot of rumors last night and today I’m wearing it just to show I’m ready.”