Jersey Sore: Newark Occupiers evicted

Mayor Booker did not comment on the eviction

February 16, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) did not comment on the Wednesday eviction of the Occupy Newark encampment, one of the last remaining of its kind in the country.

It could be because the mayor, himself a former tent-dwelling activist, feared being accused of hypocrisy given his outspoken support of the "Occupation," which he once described as "mainstream."

"I’m very excited about the [Occupy] movement," Booker told students at Rutgers-New Brunswick in December. "I hope it doesn’t dissipate."

"I’m hoping that this Occupy movement, which is so in the mainstream with some of the things I hear people saying – so in the mainstream," he added.

Booker had gone out of his way to show his support for the Newark protesters. In November, he personally delivered coffee and doughnuts to the encampment.

Occupy Newark, one of the last remaining pseudo-protest villages to have sprung up across the country, was politely dismantled this week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The raid came a week after the city delivered an eviction notice to protesters, who represent an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying they were no longer allowed in Military Park past a 9 p.m. curfew. Since mid-December, the park has been home to a group of 30 protesters, about 10 of whom chose to sleep there this past week in defiance of the curfew.

Tobias Fox, a protester, said demonstrators chanted as the park was cleared, but there was no violence and no one was arrested. "A few people wanted to get arrested, but to their disappointment, they weren't," Mr. Fox said. "We were expecting batons, mace, tear gas, the works. But instead we got a pretty peaceful group of enforcers."