Bloomberg on Occupy Wall Street: Shit’s About to Get Real
No more mister nice mayor.
Earlier this week Donald Trump called into Fox News to say that he thought the government had allowed the Occupy Wall Street protest to go on long enough. “Everyone is having a great time, they’re all going down,” he said. Time to shut it down.
It seems Mayor Bloomberg agrees.
Two weeks ago Mayor Bloomberg used his weekly radio show to broadly denounce the Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying “The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet” and accusing them of recklessly trying to destroy jobs. His sentiment seemed to be that they are wrong to protest. “Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic.”
After trying to boot the protesters from Zuccotti Park under the guise of a “mandatory park cleaning”, only to have the protesters thwart the effort by cleaning it themselves, he changed his tune, calling himself the “biggest defender of the First Amendment.”
Today he changed his tune yet again, indicating that—seriously, this time—the protests have gone on long enough. “We’ll eventually have to work something out here,” he said, indicating that protesters would not be allowed to stay in the park indefinitely. Of the technical requirement for permits to protest and march, Bloomberg said, “We will start enforcing that more.” Police melees resulting arrests and pepper-spray attacks, including the arrest of 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, resulted from not having the proper permits.
By all counts, it sounds like the mayor is warning protesters to prepare for a showdown. No doubt this will only be welcomed by the protesters, whose support just grows more fervent around the world every time the police are perceived as exploiting technicalities to bully them and snuff out their right to organize and to free speech.
The mayor should be aware that in terms of mass support this is a heads they win, tails he loses proposition.