NY 'Occupy' protesters battle cold

Rare snowstorm tests resolve of anti-Wall Street protesters camped out in a New York City park.


    A rare snowstorm has tested the resolve of anti-Wall Street protesters camped out in a New York City park as police in Nashville detained dozens of demonstrators during an eviction from a city plaza.

    On Saturday, a day after New York authorities confiscated generators from the Occupy Wall Street movement against economic inequality, hundreds of protesters struggled to stay warm and dry after more than an inch of snow fell in the city with temperatures forecast to drop to freezing overnight.

    Buffeted by strong winds, protesters took shelter in snow-covered tents in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, where the movement first set up camp six weeks ago, sparking dozens of similar occupations in city parks across the United States.

    'Winter of discontent'

    "We knew this would be tough. We didn't start this as a sort of summer of love, it's the winter of discontent," said Alan Collinge, 41, from Seattle, as he poked his head out a blue tent in the New York park.

    He estimated that one in five protesters in the park had left due to the unusually early winter storm, but added: "They'll be back, we're not going anywhere."

    Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey, reporting from New York, said it had been a very cold and wet day in New York.

    She said many of the Occupy protesters were staying in their tents because of the bad weather but were maintaining their position in Zuccotti Park despite the confiscation of their generators.

    Speaking to Saloomey, Alex Haviland, an emergency medical technician said there was not too much that the protesters could do to prepare for the storm.

    Haviland said over the past few days they had already seen up to 30 cases if hypothermia. He said that the worst medical cases were being sent to the hospital but that some protesters refused to leave the park and the protest despite their medical condition.

    Saloomey said that some people had travelled from as far as Miami in the past week and were determined to stick out the protest.

    Snow fell across a broad swathe of the eastern US over Friday and Saturday, with areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York experiencing more than 30cms of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

    The storm also brought near hurricane-force winds to areas along the northeast coast.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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