Zuccotti Park Owner’s Letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Occupy Wall Street

This letter from Brookfield Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly was obtained and posted online by Kevin Gosztola of The Dissenter.

Brookfield Properties (Owner of Zuccotti Park) Letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly

  • 2 pages
  • October 11, 2011

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Conunissioner Raymond W. Kelly
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza
Room 1400
New York, New York 10038
Facsimile: (646) 610-5865

Dear Commissioner Kelly:

As you know, for over three weeks, Zuccotti Park (the “Park”) has been used by “Occupy Wall Street” and other protesters as their home base. The Park is owned by a Brookfield affiliate and was recently renovated at Brookfield’s considerable expense as an amenity for the general public. It is intended to be a relaxing tree-filled oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Lower Manhattan. We fully support the rights of free speech and assembly, but the manner in which the protesters are occupying the Park violates the law, violates the rules of the Park, deprives the community of its rights of quiet enjoyment to the Park, and creates health and public safety issues that need to be addressed immediately.

Within the Park, the protesters have set up living spaces with tarpaulins, mattresses, sleeping bags, tables, bookshelves, gasoline-powered generators and other items that arc inconsistent with the rules and normal public use of the Park. At all hours of the day and night, protesters arc sleeping on benches and walkways, blocking normal pedestrian access to the general public and preventing cleaning and maintenance workers from performing necessary upkeep. When not blocked by protesters, the walkways throughout the Park are blocked by the various items and equipment brought to the Park by the protesters.

We are extremely concerned about dangers posed by damage that may have been incurred within the Park and by materials and equipment brought into the Park by the protesters. Brookfield protocol and practice is to clean the Park on a daily basis, power-washing it each weeknight, and to perform necessary inspection, maintenance and repairs on a regular, as-needed basis. Since the occupation began, we have not been able to perform basic cleaning and maintenance activity, let alone perform more invasive repairs. For example, if the lenses to the underground lighting have become cracked, water could infiltrate the electrical system, putting occupants of the Park at risk of an electrical hazard or causing short-circuiting which would result in repairs requiring the Park to be torn apart for re-wiring. Any such repairs would force the Park to be closed to the public for indeterminate periods of time, depriving the City of a vital green space. Moreover, we are concerned about the fire safety hazard that gasoline and the gas-fired generators pose to the Park’s occupants.

After weeks of occupation, conditions at the Park have deteriorated to unsanitary and unsafe levels. The Park has no toilets and while the existing trash receptacles have always been more than adequate to accommodate normal waste in the Park, those receptacles are no longer even close to sufficient and the resulting trash accumulation is attracting rodents.

Additionally, we have received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails from concerned citizens and office workers in the neighborhood. Complaints range from outrage over numerous laws being broken including but not limited to lewdness, groping, drinking and drug usc, to the lack of safe access to and usage of the Park, to ongoing noise at all hours, to unsanitary conditions and to offensive odors. We have received complaints of harassment, one woman stating that she was verbally abused in front of her 5-year-old child and complaining that she had a package stolen from her as she tried to cross the Park.

We are also concerned with the constant deliveries of materials to the Park. Delivery vehicles have now been appearing on a daily basis with packages of all shapes and sizes for the Park’s occupants. None of these deliveries are being screened by our security team or the police for suspicious or harmful materials. The Park’s location in the financial district makes this activity particularly conccnung.

For all of these reasons, we cannot currendy ensure that the Park is safe nor can we perform the necessary cleaning, inspection, damage assessment and repairs. In light of this and the ongoing trespassing of the protesters, we are again requesting the assistance of the New York City Police Department to help clear the Park so that we can undertake this work at the earliest possible time. We will defer to the Department’s judgment on how best to accomplish this, but the Department’s intervention is necessary both to ensure our ability to comply with our obligations as owners and to make the Park safe for the neighborhood and public.

Once we have completed our cleanup and maintenance, we would ask that the Department assist Brookfield on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of all those using and enjoying the Park. As you know, we have discussed this situation with you and/ or others under your command on a daily basis seeking assistance. The situation continues to worsen and we need your assistance to ensure public safety.

I appreciate your time and consideration in addressing this important and pressing matter. Please call me at (212) 417-7063 with any questions or if you wish to discuss our request further.

Richard B. Clark
Chief Executive Officer

ric.clark@brookfield.com

Brookfield Office Properties
Brookfield Glooal Real Estate
Three World Financial Center
New York, NY 10281-1021

T 212.417.7063
F 212.417.7272

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16 comments for “Zuccotti Park Owner’s Letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Occupy Wall Street

  1. meh
    October 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

    i have a couple of letters for the parks owners myself.

    F & U

  2. dee
    October 14, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I am a Wall Street protestor that is very grateful and lucky to have a home in NJ, but I know for a fact that you guys will seriously do anything to get these PEACEFUL protestors out of there. 12 hour cleaning on weekday nights is a little much, don’t you think? And of course its gonna be loud, its a fucking protest! And beds tents, and tarps aren’t permitted now either so now they have the choice of fighting for change or dying of hypothermia? Our rights are being taken away to a whole new degree because of the “safety of the people”? Your team of police has been beating the living shit out of these people since day 1 and you probably haven’t done or said a damn thing to prevent it. Its all over the internet, the whole world knows the police brutality that has been taking place on Wall Street. Most of these people haven’t done a single crime to get thrown to the ground, pepper sprayed or beaten to be locked until their bail, by your team.

    If you couldn’t tell by now the only people that will be at your park are the protestors and the people that want to see change. They’re fighting for YOUR freedom, for YOUR civil liberties. To all people that disagree with this movement, all i can say is: Don’t be around there if you don’t like it. There are a million other places to go in NYC so don’t be there. This has been nothing but a peaceful, noble cause and all of you have been trying to fuck it up for them. You have suspicions that they’re having “suspicious or harmful materials” being delivered to them and “havent been screened”? I’ve been there quite a few times before and I will tell you that everyone there is overly generous and look out for the people in need by supplying them with food, clothes, shelter, hope, and happiness. Alot more than what you guys are doing. When the day comes that there will be no more protesting at zucotti park because of your arrogance, do you know where they will be staying? THE STREETS. The streets are their homes too and if people are outraged because of the noise and lack of space at the park, think how citizens are going to feel if they cant do simple tasks walk to work everyday without worrying about stepping on these protestors.

    Although I am enraged by this, I understand that you are trying to keep your park clean, but they want to help do it too. Now that they know that this is an issue they will clean it to perfection if thats what it takes let them stay. Now for THEIR safety, taking away their beds, tents, shelters is sick inhumane especially since winter is arriving and many of them don’t have homes to begin with. Open your mind a little bit and think about it.

    • eredy
      July 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      we have weather change because of H.A.R.P. look it up dont be a lemming and gose for some those protesters let them find out u support end the fed. half go off, adam and the man showed that! the bankers are the key get rid of big bankers occupy is a joke ,you stand for nothing get big business .

  3. yvonne
    October 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    There are very valid points being made here, (electrical & gas generators) but first off: NO DRUGS or alcohol is present on site. “Offensive smells?” Give me a break! Second, there are NO rodents. Not even ONE. We recycle, have a compost, we empty the trash all day, every day. We have a Sanitation crew that works nearly 60 hours a week, volunteering their time, keeping this place clean. No need for pressure washing, Climate Change (caused by the burning of Fossil Fuels) is giving us record rain.

    “The park has no toilets”?? No one is using the park for a bathroom. You’ve “revived hundreds of complaints”? Well, how about the 46 million people living in poverty, 15 million out of work, another 10 million under-employed, the millions who are bankrupt because our medical system is fraudulent???

    There is NO groping, and no one has had anything stolen. I leave my bag out ALL day and no one touches anything. This is the community we’ve build. You should be proud to be a part of history. And to even dare mention anything about unknown packages, trying to instill FEAR is a game we wont fall for. People are sending us woolen socks.

    And lastly, don’t you even dare forget to mention that BLOOMBERG’S girlfriend is on the board of Brooksfeild. CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

  4. joe
    October 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Zuccotti Park owners received nearly $700,000 in gov’t handouts since 9/11 terrorist attacks:

    The owners of Zuccotti Park – Occupy Wall Street’s home base – have pocketed nearly $700,000 in government handouts since the 9/11 terror attacks.

    Brookfield Properties has received at least three six-figure grants meant for small businesses hurt by 9/11, even though it’s an $8 billion company with 2,500 employees, records show.

    Brookfield got the money because the state agency that doled out the cash treated one of the huge company’s small affiliates as an entity unto itself – effectively turning it into a small business to make it eligible.

    Usually, when the government hands out small business grants, it looks at the financial condition of an entire company – not just a single affiliate – to measure a company’s overall needs.

    The Empire State Development Corp. treated affiliates as individual companies, qualifying a Brookfield affiliate, Brookfield Properties LLC, which accounted for only a small percentage of the company’s payroll with 70 to 82 workers.

    Brookfield’s parent company owns and manages seven major office buildings around lower Manhattan with 12.8 million square feet of office space, including the World Financial Center, which was heavily damaged in the attacks.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/occupy_wall_street/2011/10/14/2011-10-14_zuccotti_park_owners_received_nearly_700000_in_govt_handouts_since_911_terrorist.html?r=ny_local&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+nydnrss/ny_local+(NY+Loc

  5. Bill
    October 16, 2011 at 6:10 am

    The points you guys are making lack validity. I’ll take a quick shot at the lot of you:

    @meh “i have a couple of letters for the parks owners myself. F&U”

    Say what you want- you have freedom of speech, but like it or not, they have freedom of ownership. The park belongs to them, and they can regulate it as they see fit, within the limits of the predefined contractual obligations they made to the city.

    @dee “And beds tents, and tarps aren’t permitted now either so now they have the choice of fighting for change or dying of hypothermia? Our rights are being taken away to a whole new degree because of the ‘safety of the people’?”

    Your rights aren’t being taken away because, in this case, you never had them to begin with. Again, the park is their property; they are fully within their rights to prohibit you from using a park designed for public relaxation/recreation to be appropriated as a campsite.

    @yvonne “And to even dare mention anything about unknown packages, trying to instill FEAR is a game we wont fall for.”

    They have every reason to mention suspicious packages. You describe the movement as if you understand its true character, but you only speak for the majority of protesters. It only takes one protester to place a bomb or create havoc, and doing so in the midst of the OWS protesters creates the perfect cover for this- if somebody wanted to discredit the movement, an illegal act of that magnitude would be a good start; so the owners of the park are wise to be wary of such possibilities.

    @joe “The owners of Zuccotti Park – Occupy Wall Street’s home base – have pocketed nearly $700,000 in government handouts since the 9/11 terror attacks.”

    You mention some big numbers here, but you don’t provide a lot of context to this. For instance, you fail to mention that the owners put at least $8 million into actually renovating the park after the 9/11 attacks. Quoting random big numbers does not give people a good understanding of the character of a company, as my counterexample shows.

    In the end, it all comes down to the fact that the park is private property. You have literally no good reason to be upset over the owners asking the protesters to leave; their park, their rules.

  6. n00tch
    October 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    What you fail to mention, Bill, is that the people of New York were betrayed. You’re probably asking yourself how one could come to such a conclusion? It’s very simple, really. The people that were elected to represent their constituents failed when they sold previously public property to a corporation. How can one sell something that is owned by everyone? It is an agreement made by the few to the detriment of the many, and all private ownership of previously public roads and spaces should be null and void. In an utter disregard for the public it is supposed to serve, those who govern have screwed the commoners because they were inept or they were wanting to enrich themselves (in this case, I suspect the latter, as Bloomberg’s long time girlfriend serves on the Zuccotti board). Educate yourself before you express an opinion, and people might have a higher regard for what you are trying to say.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park
    http://blog.littlesis.org/2011/10/05/the-public-private-partnership-behind-zuccotti-park/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuccotti_Park

    “Liberty Plaza Park, a privately owned “Public Space” on Liberty St. adjacent to One Liberty Plaza and diagonally opposite the WTC complex and the 9/11 Memorial was renovated in 2005 by Brookfield Office Properties with private contributions and renamed Zuccotti Park upon its re-opening for its current Chairman John E. Zuccotti a former NYC Deputy Mayor and chairman of the New York City Planning Commission in the 1970s. Recently, Occupy Wall Street protesters have been gathering and camping out at this location 24/7 to protest the greed of corporations and banks, their control of the political system, the non-creation of jobs despite huge profits, and the laying off of thousands of workers causing record unemployment throughout the country.

    Brookfield Office Properties wants those demonstrating removed from this “Public Space” which the protestors have occupied due to the fact that the NYPD has prevented them from demonstrating on Wall St. itself by sealing off the street with portable metal barricades.

    It’s bad enough that the originally proposed naming of the new skyscraper being erected at Ground Zero as the “Freedom Tower” has been instead officially named “1 WTC” to entice the Chinese Communist government to rent space there but in a post 9/11 era the renaming of Liberty Plaza Park as Zuccotti Park is even more egregious. What’s next? Will Brookfield Office Properties petition the city to change the name of Liberty St. to Zuccotti St. or Brookfield Place? There have been many “Public Spaces” created throughout NYC and these have been created by developers seeking to construct very tall buildings in areas not zoned for such construction. In exchange for the city’s waving the zoning laws developers must agree to provide a certain amount of adjacent property as “Public Space.” But it seems now that “Public Space” Zuccotti Park aka Liberty Plaza Park is not deemed as a proper gathering place for the public to exercise their Liberty or Constitutional Rights to Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Speech.”

  7. Ray
    October 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    While in this great country you guys have the perfect and legal right to protest, I must take issue with the basis of your arguments and your protests.

    I am just a retired old man watching this every day. Protest I learned about starting in about the 7th grade civics class. But, protests have two sides; for and against and I am against your movement because you are simply protesting against the wrong folks. YOU SHOULD BE IN WASHINGTON, DC protesting against the congress, especially the likes of Barney Frank and his ilk who pushed for and approved for loans to folks to purchase homes who simply could not afford them. When the bottom fell out, the loans were sold to many entities including the Banks of America and later peddled out even further to where even a good attorney cannot tell who owns them. Of course, Mr. Obama was part and parcel to this by approving the bailouts of banks, auto manufacturers and others These companies should have been allowed to belly up and reorganize like any other business in America. Now, why do you think the Democratic Party is going announce the embracement of your movement? Because, old folks like me know exactly what has gone on in this political regime. They are thinking by embracing you, they will get your support in the November elections. Don’t get me wrong; Mr. Bush was also a party to this fiasco.

    You are being led around like sheep and do not even realize it.

    I beg you, go back and read what has actually happened for the past 4 years and I pray you will see I am right and then take your movement to Washington. Greed is bad and the seeds and roots of greed are in Washington and this is where we need the root killer to be applied.

  8. George
    November 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    What’s wrong civil disobedience? Do we have to wait for MLK day to answer that?

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