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New York power-washes dismantled City Hall protest encampment site

New York police officers power-washed the site of a month-long protest site outside City Hall Wednesday, July 22. Just hours earlier, New York Police Department (NYPD) officers cleared out all those present at the encampment.

The cleanup in lower Manhattan came after a protest against the NYPD and in support of "Black Lives Matter". The organized protest site was known as the "City Hall Autonomous Zone." The demonstrators were calling for a U$1 billion cut from the NYPD budget. Last month, the city passed its 2021 with a cut of nearly $484 million from the New York Police Department's $6 billion operating budget.

Activists on hand made clear their mission hasn't been realized."This is about Black lives and the demand for Black lives being erased. And it's not OK," Jawanza James Williams, a New York activist, told Reuters about the clearing. Chief Raymond Spinella of the New York Police Department told reporters several hundred officers moved in to remove the protesters at 3.40 a.m local time (0740 GMT). Seven arrests were made.

Spinella said a brick was allegedly thrown that struck an an officer but did not injure him. The protesters received a 10 minute warning before police moved in, Spinella told reporters. Spinella said the site of the encampment would be on lockdown for several weeks to be cleaned. 

"This morning, the city of New York has just decided to tear it down like it ain't nothing," activist Jonathan Lykes told Reuters. "And that's a problem. But it's OK because we know the power of the people is the power of the people and the power the people won't stop."

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