Reuters

Tensions rise as protesters await a judge's decision on whether they can reenter the park

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are anxiously awaiting the latest ruling on whether they can return to Zuccotti Park. Mayor Michael Bloomberg removed the activists late last night, claiming they posed health and safety hazard. The decision is currently being reviewed by Judge Lucy Billings.

Our friends over at Atlantic Wire have been assiduously tracking every development on their Occupy Wall Street live blog. They report:

Update (3:42 p.m. EST): The crowd is chanting "let us in" and "open the park" quite loudly. Andrew Katz tweets this insight about the potentially volatile situation:

Bloomberg's decision echoes similar crackdowns across the country and world (the New York Times reports that London officials have resumed an effort to evict a protest camp outside St. Paul's Cathedral). There's some question of whether the mayors coordinated their shutdowns - Oakland Mayor Jean Quan told The Takeaway radio show that:

I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation where what had started as a political movement and a political encampment ended up being an encampment no longer in control by the people who started them.

Quan's deputy mayor and legal adviser resigned yesterday after the city removed protesters from two parks. After leaving, former Legal Adviser Dan tweeted "Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators."

Photo credit: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

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