The news electrified a crowd of about 3,000 occupiers that had steadily grown in numbers as the wet night brightened into dawn. Many of them had worked nonstop since Thursday evening sweeping the park and scouring its granite walkways with brushes—a calculated attempt to deprive Brookfield Office Properties of its main justification for evicting them. While the company had claimed that it only wanted to move the occupiers to conduct a thorough cleaning, it has also issued a set of rules that would effectively prevent them from returning by banning camping, tarps, and sleeping bags.
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That, in two words chanted and rechanted through the crowd, is how the news sank in early this morning that Occupy Wall Street would emerge from a harrowing night still fully in control of Zuccotti Park. At around 6:30 a.m., a half hour before an eviction operation was expected to begin, New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway called it off. The owner of the park, Brookfield Office Properties, had withdrawn its request for police assistance. "Our position has been consistent throughout: the city's role is to protect public health and safety, to enforce the law, and guarantee the rights of all New Yorkers," Holloway said in a statement. "Brookfield believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use, and that the situation is respectful of residences and businesses downtown."
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