Citing Fire Risk, New York City Cuts Occupy Wall Street’s Power
Citing safety concerns, New York City’s police and firefighters confiscated potentially hazardous fuel cans and power generators from Zuccotti Park. “The gasoline & generators in Zuccotti Park posed a real threat of fire or explosion, particularly given the congested conditions,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office tweeted. Adding, “It’s illegal to store/use generators & fuel if it threatens public safety, so FDNY informed protestors that those items must be removed…Only goal was to keep protestors & public safe. From the start, we’ve done that in a way fully consistent w/the 1st Amendment.”
CBS 2 reports:
The FDNY were looking for safety violations. At issue: Propane tanks and gas generators being used to keep the protesters warm. The inspection, involving dozens of firefighters, was overseen by Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano.
Protesters turned over six generators and a dozen of gasoline cans, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The Nation‘s Greg Mitchell blogged that law enforcement offices came around 8am and conducted a surprise inspection, raiding generators and fuel cans, citing them as a fire hazard. “Propane supposedly a threat, but campers point out they only use ‘bio-diesel.’… Cops and firemen sniffing bottles and jugs.” With temperatures beginning to dip below 40°, occupiers have been handed a bold, new challenge since their demonstration began September 17.
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