"The final decision," to have the NYPD evict Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park, "was mine and mine alone," Mayor Bloomberg said at a press conference this morning in which he tried to explain the whirlwind of activity on Wall Street last night, all of which he says was done at the initial request of Brookfield Properties. According to Bloomberg the "action was taken at this time of day [after 1 a.m.] to reduce confrontation." Bloomberg doesn't imply this will kill the OWS movement, however. "For two months they have been allowed to use sleeping bags and tents. Now they will have to use the power of their arguments."

Bloomberg said that the city had planned to reopen the park at 8 a.m., and in fact let a few protesters back in (without sleeping bags or tents) but then closed the park off again when a restraining order was put against the city. "Because of the court order, which we have not seen, we are keeping the the park closed until we can clarify."

"In the future protesters and the general public will be allowed to go there to exercise their First Amendment rights," Bloomberg said. "But they are not allowed to use tents and sleeping bags" to do so. "The First Amendment gives New Yorkers the right to speak out, but it does not give them the right to camp out in a tent." He also emphasized that "no right is absolute."

Bloomberg said the move happened now (as opposed to waiting for winter to push the protesters out naturally) as "the health of the public and our first responders must be our first priority." "We could not wait until someone got killed...we must never be afraid to insist on compliance with our laws."

As for two of the other burning questions of the night? The mayor explained the removal of the media as "routine" and "for their own protection." And the tents, sleeping bags and other things in the park have been removed by Brookfield and the Sanitation Department to storage facility on 57th and the West Side Highway. They say that if you go and describe what you are missing, with ID, they will sort through it (assuming people don't all claim the same things) let you take them back in the next few days.

But don't try and bring stuff back to the park. "We are going to reserve the right, either on a random basis or if there is suspicion, to check bags. [Protesters] can not carry in big objects to set up and recreate the situation that became so intolerable."

You can read the mayor's full statement here.