Six months after setting up camp on the New Haven Green, Occupy New Haven protesters were evicted from their encampment on Wednesday.
Police removed protesters early Wednesday morning, allowing officials from the city’s parks department to clear the Upper Green of tents and debris. The eviction a day after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city could legally remove Occupiers from the Green, the final step in the city’s months-long attempt to remove Occupy from the Green.
Beginning at around 8 a.m., police began to arrest protesters who sat and linked arms around a tent and refused to leave. After the immediate campground was free of protesters, and a hazmat team examined tents and debris for any dangerous material, bulldozers began to clear the encampment.
At a press conference after the eviction, DeStefano affirmed his support of Occupy’s ideals. But the movement had become more focused on maintaining its place on the Green than driving conversations about income inequality. The cost of the occupation — including city services and restoration of the Green — will total around $145,000, he said. The Green should be restored before summer, a representative from the parks department said.
Occupiers are free to return to the Green following the eviction, provided they follow park guidelines, DeStefano said. By the Green’s regulations, protesters can remain in the public space until 10 p.m.
Occupy New Haven, which arrived in the city on Oct. 15, was the longest lasting encampment of the Occupy protest movement in New England.