According to Sixth District Commander Robert Bardy, police took the action after getting a complaint about the encampment from one of the property's owners. (
Bardy identified the owner as the Miro Foundation, which could not be immediately confirmed through online city property records.) Correction: One of the parcels on the lot is owned by I-See Storage and Transfer Co., a Meraux Foundation-controlled entity, according to Meraux tax records.
"The problem we have here is that this is not Duncan Plaza," Bardy said. "This is private property."
(More pictures after the jump)
Bardy said the group — which according to some participants included about 50 people living on the lot full-time — would have until 5 p.m. today to get their belongings and exit the park. According to flier handed out to the group, anyone who refused to leave would be charged with criminal trespassing. When I arrived at 12 p.m., the few dozen people there appeared to be complying with the order.
According to Bardy, NOPD officers were referring campers to homeless shelters and nonprofit service providers.
"This was my emergency back up plan," said Norman Oaks, who said came to the property last night after funding — provided by attorneys representing Occupy New Orleans — for a room in a motel ran out. "I don't know where I'm going."