Protesters in the park at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration were bracing for a showdown with police this morning, but they appear to have been granted a reprieve. The protesters had vowed to defy orders to leave Zuccotti Park by 6am so it could be cleaned. The city had said protesters could return after that cleaning—but without the sleeping bags and other gear that has made a 27-day sit-in possible, the New York Daily News reports. Dozens of protesters with brooms and buckets began a major park clean-up last night, with some even planting flowers, reports the Huffington Post. Did their efforts work? Maybe: NYC's deputy mayor announced this morning that the cleaning has been postponed.
According to a statement from him, the park's owner "believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation." Activists viewed the order to leave the park as an attempt to shut down the protests; Capital Tonight calls the postponement a victory for the protesters. (Read more NYPD stories.)