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Bloomberg Announces Zuccotti Park Cleanup While Meeting Protestors

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Wall Street protestors are being told they will have to pack up and leave -- at least temporarily. However, some activists are now accusing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who personally stopped by Zuccotti Park on Wednesday, of dirty politics.

Greeted by a mix of cheers and jeers, Bloomberg ordered the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators to get out of of the plaza long enough for the area to be sanitized on Friday morning by Brookfield Properties.

However, protestors say the cleanup sounds more like a clear out.

After 26 days of food, trash and other debris piling up high for pickup or recycling, Bloomberg's office said while protesters "have a right continue to protest...the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park."

"Like wear and tear on what? On marble and concrete? Like how do we wear and tear that?" asked Will Schneider.

Schneider is not alone in his skepticism of the mayor's cleanup plan. Other occupants are also none too pleased about the his announcement and told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis that they were keeping the area clean by themselves.

"We are working 24/7; we do not rest. We encourage cleanliness. We encourage everyone to take care of their belongings and pack it up neatly," said Lauren DiGoria of Clifton, N.J.

Protesters said the city has been trying to get them to leave for weeks, and with this plan to clean the park in stages on Friday, many say there's now a clever excuse.

But the owner of the park, Brookfield Office Management, claims the area has not been maintained. It wrote to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, saying "conditions at the Park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe levels."

Protesters deny those claims, pointing to their so-called "Red and Black Cross" of first-aid volunteers, a safety measure many say the mayor hasn't seen.

They argue that since the mayor has not been in the area much, he cannot see how much or how little they actually clean.

The mayor's office said "protesters will be able to return to the areas that have been cleaned, provided they abide by the rules that Brookfield has established for the park."

Do you think the cleanup will prompt the end of the Wall Street occupation?  Share your thoughts in the comments section...


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