NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The mood went from tense to celebratory after Occupy New Haven demonstrators found out the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York had issued a stay; meaning they could remain on the Green until the appeal is heard.
"It was unexpected," said demonstrator Stephanie Avery, "we were all ready to go. Everyone was packed up, everybody was ready to leave."
"We're retrieving some of our taken items here," said demonstrator Ty Hailey.
At noon, the time a judge had ruled the city could remove the Occupy tents and other structures, New Haven police and workers from the Department of Public Works descended on the Occupy encampment.
Yellow tape lined the camp as onlookers watched bulldozers start taking down structures. Things got heated after two demonstrators were arrested.
"I don't think that's a big deal," said Hailey. "We planned on a lot more people being arrested today."
Twenty minutes into the operation, the city received word that the temporary stay had been issued, so no more tents could be removed.
"When the judges made a decision a few minutes ago and they verified it that we needed to stop the operation temporarily, this police department obeys the law," said New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman. "And we'll go back to where we were just an hour ago."
"What this is is becoming an obnoxious use on the Green by a few people," said Mayor John DeStefano, "and the courts decided to give itself to hear it or not, and they hopefully will do so in a timely process."
In the meantime, demonstrators who had left the Green ahead of the eviction, began moving their belongings back into the tents.
"I would really like to see us organize," Hailey said, "and prepare and transition into the next phase of the Occupy movement."
"A possible decision could be next week, next month, next year," said DeStefano.
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