Earlier this morning the FDNY, accompanied by the NYPD, conducted a surprise safety inspection of the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park. An FDNY spokesman said inspectors were looking for generators, propane and gas tanks, open fires, and any other fire hazards. Apparently, they found what they were looking for: Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson wrote on Twitter that the FDNY "removed generators and fuel from Zuccotti that posed a fire safety threat. no arrests no violence." On his weekly Friday morning radio show, Mayor Bloomberg was asked about the raid.
"There is nobody that is a bigger defender of the First Amendment than I am," Bloomberg declared, according to Capital New York reporter Azi Paybarah. "The story of this morning is that there is no story... We asked everyone to take [generators, fuel] out of the park." Bloomberg went on to say that the protesters will be allowed to cook as long as Brookfield Properties, the park's owner, doesn't complain, but without heat or electricity it's unclear how that works. He also said that the tents would be allowed to stay, but again that is contingent on Brookfield allowing them.
The Mayor's Office also wrote on Twitter the "FDNY & NYPD deserve credit for carrying this out professionally and w/ restraint." Greg Mitchell at The Nation was watching the LiveStream from the park as the items were seized, and he says "the campers pointed out they only use 'bio-diesel.' As one says, '"the hippies' insist on that. Cops and firemen sniffing bottles and jugs." It's not just the kitchen that will be hamstrung by this; without generators, the Occupy Wall Street media team is going to face challenges as well.