So, a little birdy, who happens to sport a large Afro, be one of the illest drummers around and is a voluminous tweeter, tipped off Occupy Wall Street protesters to the impending police raid of Zuccotti Park early this morning.
At 11:38 p.m. on Monday, Questlove of the Roots alerted his 1.76 million followers on twitter to a massing of officers in riot gear not far from Zuccotti Park, headquarters for the Occupy Wall Street protests.
Questlove’s tweet went out nearly an hour and a half before police stormed the park and tossed out the protesters that have been camping out there for about two months.
The original tweet though caught fire, and eventually folks from Occupy Wall Street took notice. But they initially wondered if it were some sort of movie filming going on or a police shift change. They tweeted as much at 12:38.
But Questlove, who appears on The Jimmy Fallon Show each weeknight along with The Roots, assured them something was about to go down.
At 12:39 he tweeted:
Then at 12:46 that:
And about 15 minutes later:
Not long after, the police in riot gear tore into the park. As word spread, Questlove was back on the keys, tweeting:
Police told demonstrators they had to empty the park for cleaning, citing "health and fire safety" hazards, and that protesters could either leave on their own volition or stay and be arrested. By 4 a.m. the park was cleared and hundreds of protesters.
According to The Associated Press, 70 arrests had already been made.
"You are required to immediately remove all property, including tents, sleeping bags and tarps from Zuccotti Park. That means you must remove the property now," read a notice handed out by police. "You will be allowed to return to the park in several hours, when this work is complete. If you decide to return, you will not be permitted to bring your tents, sleeping bags, tarps and similar materials with you."
Police said that protesters could return to the park, but without the sleeping bags and tents.