For their own safety, of course. It’s a fire risk, don’t you know. From the New York Times:
Hundreds of New York City police officers began clearing Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday, telling the people there that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” before the morning and that any demonstrator who did not leave would be arrested. The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!” as officers began moving in and tearing down tents. The protesters rallied around an area known as “the kitchen” near the middle of the park and began building barricades with tables and pieces of scrap wood. The officers, who had gathered between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and then rode in vans along Broadway, moved into the one-square-block park shortly after 1 a.m. As they did, dozens of protesters linked arms and shouted “No retreat, no surrender,” “This is our home” and “Barricade!” There were no immediate reports of arrests.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: police unions should not allow their members to be used to suppress peaceful demonstrations, which exposes cops to risk of injury, lawsuits, criminal charges and other fun stuff. As for the state, it should deal with civil unrest by hearing grievances and negotiating. Note: “everyone shut up and go away” is not negotiation.
People don’t camp out in city parks for two months without good goddamn reasons. Address people’s legitimate concerns and we’ll all be on our way to a better, more civilized world.