Zuccotti Park was cleared by police over three weeks ago now, but the encampment was resurrected for a brief moment in Foley Square yesterday. Tents, tarps, signs, a library, even a kitchen fully stocked with food — all the familiar objects were there playing the part of ZP for an episode of Law & Order: SVU that will deal with Occupy Wall Street. Around 75 protesters paid the meta-park a visit last night at midnight and explored, eating food from the kitchen and roaming through the tiny tent city. They were accompanied by dozens of cops, who eventually announced that the set was being shut down and that anyone who stayed there after a certain point would be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Everyone left quickly, seeming to agree with one man who yelled “there’s no reason to get arrested for dumb shit.”
Before that, though, it was quite the party.
According to protester Shawn Carrié, 22, the night’s activities had been organized in a secret Direct Action meeting a few hours beforehand. Someone told the OWS’ers about Fauxcotti and “I said, ‘let’s go occupy that shit,'” he said.
The protesters’ mood was light as people marveled at the strangeness of the scene. Someone started a “Mockupy! Mockupy!” chant. Haywood Carey, 28, mic-checked the crowd: “I want a temperature check on whether this feels like a weird acid trip of Zuccotti Park!” Everyone cheered and fluttered their fingers in the air, the universal OWS sign of approval.
“This is so fucking weird,” Carey continued.
NBC had clearly done their homework; the fake encampment looked almost right, though it wasn’t quite there. Signs had slogans like “Stop Corporate Rape” and “No Billionaire Left Behind”, which, “definitely wouldn’t be a sign and doesn’t really make sense,” as OWS press team member Jeff Smith said. The library was fully stocked with books marked “OWS” on the side. Tents were eerily empty. The kitchen had a nice spread that the protesters ended up looting on their way out, grabbing jars of pickles and boxes of Pop-Tarts.
In keeping with the real Zuccotti, there was even an eviction. Around 12:30, cops announced that the set was being struck and that everyone would have to vacate the premises. There were at least 30 cops on the scene. As they moved into the set, protesters obeyed orders and cleared out, though not without some back-and-forth. Carey, on a tear at that point, yelled “I don’t give a fuck, I’ll fuck with the NYPD on the set of Law & Order. I don’t give a shit.” He didn’t end up fucking with the NYPD.
Shortly after 1 a.m., police guarded the set and set up barriers as workers took tents down. The protesters held a short GA outside, stymied by the police crashing their party.
Chris Reider, 49, a Day One occupier, summarized: “I came for Law & Order and they showed me NYPD Blue.”