Occupy Wall Street protesters are back inside the lower Manhattan park that has been their home for almost two months, despite losing a tense legal battle with New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and the site's owners.
Almost 16 hours after police moved in and cleared Zuccotti Park of the protesters and their tents, a New York supreme court judge ruled that the city had not breached their first amendment rights. Earlier, the mayor had defended the decision to clear the site on the basis that "health and safety conditions became intolerable".
After a tense day of stand-offs between police and protesters, and mounting criticism of Bloomberg's tactics, judge Michael Stallman ruled that demonstrators did not have the right to erect tents or other structures in the park.
But the ruling did not prevent the protesters from returning to the park, and within an hour the police opened the gates and allowed them back in, subject to bag searches to ensure they were not carrying tents, sleeping bags or other camping equipment.
On the steps of the court, lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild, who represented Occupy protesters, told a waiting crowd of reporters that they would consider an appeal.