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Occupy Albany protestor in early November. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Occupy Albany protestor in early November. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Poll: Majority says Occupy protesters have the right to stay in parks

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New York's police commissioner Tuesday defended how officers handled themselves in the mass eviction early that morning, from the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park.

Ray Kelly says the police arrested about 200 people in the sweep, including dozens who tried to resist eviction by linking arms in a tight circle at the center of the park. Arrests also included one city councilman and several journalists.

Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers are supportive of the Occupy movement, and a majority believe that they should be allowed to remain in the parks 24 hours a day.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

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The poll, by  Siena College, finds support for the Occupy movement has slipped a bit, from 49% last month to 45% now, and that most surveyed do not believe the  demonstrator’s claim that they  represent the 99% of Americans.
 
But, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg, a majority think the protesters have the right to remain in the parks 24 hours a day.
 
“57% of voters say ‘yes they should’,” said Greenberg. “40% say ‘no they should not’”.
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo does not believe Occupiers should be allowed to stay overnight on state lands, and has directed state police to arrest several demonstrators each night for the past several nights. Greenberg says Cuomo’s opposition has not affected his popularity, though, the governor’s approval rating remains at 72%. 

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