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The Call Blog: "Occupy Wall Street" Protest Enters Fourth Week

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Somewhere between 100-200 people sleep in Zuccotti Park each night. I wonder how many are undercover police officers?



Tomorrow marks the start of the fourth week of the "Occupy Wall Street" protest in lower Manhattan. Today, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said overtime costs have exceeded $1.9 million tax dollars. Despite complaints from some downtown residents and business owners, the NYPD says it has no plans to remove demonstrators from the privately owned plaza on Broadway.

During his morning radio show, Mayor Bloomberg said the protests "are trying to destroy the jobs of working people." Bloomberg added he doesn't think that is productive, but protesters are protected by the First Amendment. What do you say?

What's your reaction to the nearly two million tax dollars that have been spent on police overtime? Should protesters be more conscious of the noise and sanitary concerns raised by those who live and work downtown? When do you think the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration will come to an end?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Typical of the many politicos of the City, the Mayor at first sides with the demonstrators then the money-makers. While I can sympathize with many of the residents and business owners in the immediate and surrounding areas, the reasons for this "action" are related to the actions of many financial and political parties that have been allowed to do things that have embedded the current status quo. People are tired of working to barely exist; college students, unless they are well-placed by 'old money', 'prestige', and the right contacts (and this is not to insult those who actually worked to get to where they are) ask themselves what can this degree do for me in this current economy where the lines are being drawn by the well situated. In has been said across the "pond" that American labor has an unusually long fuse."

The workers and other protesters who gathered en masse at the Group of 20 summit in London were continuing a time-honored European tradition of taking their grievances into the streets. Ordinary Americans do it, and right away, they are demonized as "eco terrorists" bent on destroying the American dream. A dream for who? All Americans, or a select few? When General Motors recently announced huge job cuts worldwide, 15,000 workers demonstrated at the company's German headquarters. But in the United States, where G.M. planned its biggest layoffs, union members seemed passive in comparison. They may yell at the television news, but that's about all. Unlike our European counterparts, American workers have largely stayed off the streets, even as unemployment soars and companies cut wages and benefits. Well, not for the past three weeks. The dragon sleeps no more.

Lee
From Astoria



The protest will probably end when some tired NYPD person and some equally tired protester clash and then a fight will ensue followed by a mutually inflicted riot. Sorry for being SO cynical.

Peace, Nick
Hell's K



I HOPE THAT THE PROTEST REMAINS PEACEFUL. I SUSPECT SOME IDIOTS CHALLENGED THE FINEST BY A COUNTDOWN AND A CHARGING OF THE CROSSING LINE. THAT IS A DANGEROUS AND SEEMINGLY UNFAIR THING TO DO WHEN THERE ARE ANARCHISTS MIXED IN WITH WELL MEANING PEACEFUL PROTESTERS. WHEN THE POLICE SHOW UP WITH HORSES, HATS AND BATS [WHICH ARE HELMETS AND NIGHT STICKS,] THE PROTESTS WILL SOFTEN AND WILL RESULT IN INJURIES TO BOTH SIDES. SO, WHAT GETS ACCOMPLISHED?

JOE, BAY TERRACE



Kelly: NYPD Presence At Wall Street Protests Costly was watching today as you played up this angle of the "occupy wall street" story. are you kidding me??? where were the questions about why all this police overtime was necessary in the first place, considering the peaceful nature of the protests amid the unprovoked violence of the police department whiteshirts???

here's a statistic people should be MUCH more concerned with:
COST OF THE TEN-YEAR WAR IN AFGHANISTAN:
1790 U.S. TROOPS KILLED
$339.8 BILLION TO DATE
$7.8 BILLION PER MONTH

get some perspective instead of trading "access" for being a mouthpiece for the cops. it's just sad...

Peter



I think the NYPD is only telling the media that the Wall St Protest is costing nearly $2million in overtime to diminish public support for the protest (while they separately claim they "support the right to protest"). Less than $2 million dollars is less than 25 cents for each NYer -- I'd be fine with the protest lasting A LOT longer... it'd just cost a buck or two!

The protest is starting to gain traction, and perhaps will eventually have some effect on reigning in (and taxing!) Wall Street!

Thanks for listening,
Peter
Forest Hills, Queens



What reality is Bloomberg living in? He says the protesters are destroying jobs!? It's really unbecoming for one of the richest men in New York(a multi billionaire) to be putting down Americans who want jobs. The police deserve the overtime pay, that is the price we pay for a true democracy. $1.9 million, that's pocket Change to a Wall street billionaire. The fact is working class Americans won't take getting the shaft anymore in this corrupt system that has the rich robbing from the poor, it's called reverse Robin Hood.

Mike
Lower East Side



If business and political leaders at local, state and national levels had been doing their jobs, we would not be in such a financial mess. There would be no protests. There would be no police costs. It's a little late in the Great Recession to be worrying about police overtime costs because people in a democracy are frustrated by the results of bad leadership across the board.

Tom
Oakland, CA

P.S. I am one of the 99 percent, but if the New York needs donations to care for Wall Street, I'll send what I can afford.



Whatever it's costing, it is still a heck of a lot less than what Wall Street has stolen. New York City has spent a fortune on security for many events a lot less significant than this. I realize that many have forgotten that we live in a DEMOCRACY where we have the RIGHT TO PROTEST and FREE SPEECH. A good number of our modern politicians would like to see the rights of American citizens taken away but let's remember these are the same people who send our soldiers into harm's way every day to defend these specific rights. Why should they be denied to American citizens. Maybe, we should cut back on our military presence in other countries and use the savings to pay for the police overtime and use the left over to give our citizens their jobs back.

Q.



Hi John,

Since when are they concerned about how much anything costs. They spend our money like it is going out of style. I hope they never leave. At least we are being heard from. By the way where are all the politicians? I'm sure as anything Bloomberg had the jet engines riving up and ready for him to take off. Yesterday another person in the administration that had cart blanche to do what ever wish with the money allotted them. Bloomberg gets up in front of the cameras and says we can't have this and the guy was suspended waiting for trial. It takes one to know one. There is nothing but corruption after corruption in this administration. WHO IS MINDING THIS STORE WHICH HAPPENS TO BE A 24/7 JOB. ONE WOULD NEVER KNOW IT. EVERYONE MAKES THEIR OWN HOURS.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



Is it illegal to protest? Get the police out of there. When police are monitoring protests in countries whose governments the US opposes, our government makes a stink about it. The protesters are asserting their Constitutional right and the police should be kept away until illegal activity begins.

Don



The protests will end when politicians stop bickering and deal with the unemployment, and unfair taxation policies which is destroying what's left on the middle class in this country.

Felix
Bay Ridge



John,

If Zuccotti Park is privately owned, do they have permission of the owner to be on it? Are they paying rent? Are they keeping it and the surrounding streets neat and clean?

It’s obvious that the protesters should pay the overtime cost. They caused it; they pay it.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



In terms of his analysis of their goals and purpose, Mayor Bloomberg has his head up his own a$$. As to the practical concerns, they ought to be addressed -- but not selectively, as a lot of people on the right would have it.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan



I hope the movement grows and grows to the point where some real action takes place, and the rights of the 99 percent are better protected. Mike Bloomberg should be ashamed of himself for not being more supportive. He knows darned well the reason that they are there, and that it has nothing to do with the middle class employees there. Wall St." is just a symbolic place to occupy to get the point across. Why is he playing dumb??

Barri



What would you expect from a rich white guy who us exactly what they are protesting about- and he predicted it!

Rich
Midtown East



Well its about time!!! I am glad to see that my fellow New Yorker are taking a stand. I am a native New Yorker and I got so tired of all the non-sense that has been going on in NY and in the US, that 2 years ago (this past August) I moved out of the country. I have been following the movement, and I am happy to see democracy working. Its truly a beautiful thing when people get together for a grater cause and to fight for their rights!! Lets hope that our politicians listen and take positive action. I am seriously considering going back to NY to join my fellow New Yorkers and Americans with this cause. United we stand,divided we fall. Power to the people!!!

AP
10032
Native New Yorker



With all the hardship thats going on now, it just hurts me to see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. As for Bloomberg, he can go suck an egg !

Ruthann
Queens



NYC has brought a great shame upon itself, in that, its a place where Fire Houses are closed, Hospitals are closed, but there are about 3 banks on each city block.

Also, right now this seems to be a "NY" thing and thats because NYorkers are the ones protesting, we need to see other people in other cities showing their solidarity and their support in the fight if the nation wants to see any real changes. Washington won't listen to us yet, its only when we bring it to their front door is when changes will be seen. If there was rally in each state, changes would be seen and fast,

We Support Change: Ingrid & Jimmy of Sunset Park, Brooklyn



Its a shame America supposed be United We Stand.... when is it going too END. Middle Class SUFFER. Layoff, Finances, putting Food on the Table, Education for our KIDS is taken away. DO u think Bloom berg need be in our shoe.... Trying to survive in THE BIG APPLE IS HARD!!!!

Thanks
Ms. LISA



John -

I agree with the caller who stated that the NYPD personnel and overtime cost to secure the Financial District is unnecessary. I would go even further to say it is excessive. NYPD has fenced off Wall Street and Broad Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange. There have been protests over the years at this intersection and they have basically shut down this area with the exception of the sidewalk access.

Also NY1 has an interview with Councilwoman Chin commenting about being mindful of the residents in the area. Well I've been working downtown for over 20 years and many of those "residential" buildings are converted office buildings which were the locations for thousand of jobs. Where did those jobs go? Let Occupy Wall Street continue and NYPD redeploy to other more serious crime prevention initiatives.

John, Oakwood



They're a disorganized addle headed motley crew of confused smelly misfits that don't even understand what they're talking about. The economic meltdown wouldn't have happened if the subprime mortgage borrowers had only made payments - and the only reason why they were allowed to borrow in the first place was because of congresses relaxing lending standards. They're no way to reverse this - the money is gone, gone to home sellers and developers.

One protester interviewed on NY1 began blabbing about help with his student loans and uniform health care - that's not Wall Street, but it is self serving and self indulgent. Plus the mess down there is disgusting, enough - they each must have had their fifteen minutes of fame by now and they sure as hell have over stayed their welcome. Time to move on and go home NY don't want you no more.

Derek
Brooklyn.



The Occupy Wall Street protest, however unfocused it may seem with regard to solutions, is adding to the national conversation about what's wrong with the economy and how it is affecting a broad spectrum of Americans. As for any accusations about fomenting "class warfare," that's unlikely to happen because people no longer know which class they belong to.

The protest has already taken the hot air out of the sails of those Republicans who have been demanding repeal of the minimum wage and the scaling back of anti-poverty programs, and now an increasing number or otherwise ordinary Americans are supporting a more progressive approach to solving the nation's economic problems. This will help President Obama's re-election bid and his efforts to create jobs and augment the nation's revenue base, and it may encourage Congress to better regulate the financial industries who manage to run amok no matter how bad things get for the rest of us.

BIG ANDY
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn



2 million is a disturbing figure-- but if it the protests make a lasting impact than of course it's worth it. 2 million is really difficult to believe though. Has Ray Kelly indicated how this breaks down- just how much are the police paid for overtime? Maybe I should go into law enforcement!

~Gabrielle in the West Village.



Vote/Throw the money changers out of congress hopefully the wall street protesters can form an American spring facebook coalition to vote out the the anti obama racist mitch mcconnell and all the congress folks who are worth more than a million dollars, the pass a constitution amendment to elimate congressional pay and make serving in congress voluntary. mitch mcconell is the lead money changer worth 32 million while people in kentucky are poor

robert
kew gardens



I hope they stay until all three branches of government respond to the people of the United States. It's about time the giant woke up. How much more can people take of Washington games as opposed to politics. A "hands-down" Congress...come on!

Rafael



I'm glad people can voice their opinion in a democracy, but they should be respectful of those living in the area and the cost of their occupation on the city.

Michael
Ues



What world are these people living in? I was brought up with the simple thought that if you want something you go out and work for it. These people are sitting around waiting to be given handouts. The story about the man who quit his teaching job to join the movement is ridiculous. I read their demands on their website and it seems like a while bunch of people who have debt who don't want to work and earn money. Wake up people.

AF



This idea that we're unnecessarily "wasting" money on the police is absurd. When the Republican National Convention was in NY, there were tons of extra police. When the world series is at Yankee Stadium there are extra police. Whenever their is a private event of any kind that involves large public attendance there are extra police. If the city can pay for extra police for the US Open, they can surely pay to support a massive rally to demand justice and equality.

Rick
Forest Hills, NY



I'm in full support of Occupy Wall Street! Big fortune 500 companies got away with creating this recession-nothing happened to them. Millions are out of work. Underemployed. Without health insurance. Thank goodness my city is taking a stand!! I hope Occupy Wall Street continues to GROW. Social and economic justice will only become a reality when our voices are heard.

Lisa
Inwood



These protesters should go March on Washington and let the people we sent to represent us in DC, actually, do what we sent them to do. They all appear to forget what they went there to do and all fall prey to the lobbyist bidding. The government representatives appear to be no nothing fools whose only agenda is to fill their own pockets.

Brenda, Forest Hills, NY



This will grow and grow. I remember the 60's and Viet Nam. These young people will do the same thing. The left will change this country. The Nazi Tea Party will be destroyed. But, this will be a long hard fight. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Mark



OWS will end when it is either co-opted by the politicians or it coalesces into it's own political party, the only way it won't fail.

Rusty
Greenwich Village



If yelling and screaming make you smart, my neighbors grand kids are geniuses.

Luke, Grant City, Staten Island



The Wall Street event needs the protection of the city, the protesters are mostly teenagers no different from what we saw in Woodstock.

hank



Why does NY1 keep talking about how much Occupy Wall Street is costing in police overtime? Chase Bank just gave the police $4.6 million. That ought to keep them going for awhile.

Dany from East Village



I have been hearing a lot of comments "prostest is full of love" and "reduce, maybe even remove the police involvement in this protest." So i propose that we give them what they want, but on one condition...when something bad happens because there are not enough police or no police at all then all those people who said to remove them have to eat their words and keep their mouths shut. I am so sick of this, do people ever have anything positive to say about the men and women who put their lives at risk to protect the public, to protect us. These men and women are away from their families, working more hours, and some may even be supportive to the cause...but yet they don't get the respect they desire.

-DeDe from queens

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