Occupy Wall Street protesters are celebrating in Manhattan’s Financial District today after successfully defying orders to evacuate the encampment they have held for nearly four weeks. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had said Zuccotti Park — renamed Liberty Plaza by protesters — would have to be cleared by 7:00 a.m. following a request by its owners that it be cleaned. Thousands of people began congregating in the square overnight amidst concerns the cleaning order was a pretext for evicting the protesters. Hours later, New York City officials announced the request to clear the park had been withdrawn. We go live to Zuccotti Park to speak with Democracy Now!'s Ryan Devereaux. "At about 6:00 in the morning, a march of union members arrived to Liberty Square, and the reception was one of pure joy, chanting, cheering," Devereaux says. He describes how protesters allocated $3,000 from their treasury to purchase cleaning supplies and then "spent the better part of all day yesterday cleaning this plaza, making sure that it was as clean as possible when the inspectors would arrive, giving the city absolutely no excuse to say that this was a unsanitary place." We also speak with New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who is one of many local officials who have lent their support for the occupation. "I think everyone kind of understands that this is a great movement going on," Williams says. “More importantly, it's something that should be supported, just like we supported all the other movements that were going on around the world." [includes rush transcript]moreless
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