Local Politicians Largely Blast Early Morning Raid Of Occupy Wall Street Camp
The mayor was pummeled by local politicians Tuesday after the eviction of Zuccotti Park, who said it did not need to happen in the middle of the night. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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Across the city Tuesday, local politicians largely blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg's overnight eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Downtown Manhattan's Zuccotti Park.
"The mayor of the city of New York has turned Zuccotti Park into a police state," said Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James.
"Mr. Mayor, it did not work in Egypt. It did not work all over the Middle East. Learn that lesson well. It will not work in New York City," said Queens Councilman James Sanders Jr.
"This movement, which is global, which is national, which is statewide, will not be dismantled," said Manhattan-Bronx Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Some of those eyeing a run for City Hall in 2013 also criticized the mayor's move, saying they may have acted differently.
"This is not a good situation. The question is now how do we collectively work towards making sure we have a balance of safety and also continue this protest in a reasonable way?" said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
"I just don't think there was a compelling reason to evict everyone in the dark of night," said City Comptroller John Liu.
"What happened this morning was wrong, it was unnecessary, it was provocative. It will only create more conflict," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Angering lawmakers even more was the arrest and detainment of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez during the late-night raid. He was released Tuesday night.
The councilman's attorneys argued the delay in his release was because he's outspoken.
"Councilman Rodriguez has not asked for courtesy and special treatment. He has asked to be treated like everyone else, and he's not," said Leo Glickman, an attorney for Rodriguez.
Early Tuesday, Bloomberg argued the conditions in the park had become a safety risk. Some local leaders agreed with him.
"What the mayor did last night was end only the illegal aspects of this protest, which has clearly become an occupation, which denied others their rights to the use of safe and clean streets," said Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
By and large, city officials supported Occupy Wall Street's right to return and remain in Zuccotti Park, but they also said they must balance public health and public safety.