Bloomberg Calls Wall Street "Vitally Important," Criticizes Protests
Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters and the officials who support them on his radio show Friday just hours after Brookfield Properties, owner of Zuccotti Park, backed off of their plans to clean out the encampment. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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“Occupy Wall Street” protesters may get to stay put in Zuccotti Park for now, but they aren't currying much favor with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"The bottom line is, I don't necessarily agree with their message or their targets. Here in New York City, the Wall Street industry is a vitally important industry. Its tax dollars are how we pay our cops and firefighters and teachers. You see some of the municipal unions trying to help the protesters. Helping them is one thing. Destroying our tax base just isn't good," said Bloomberg on his radio show.
The mayor also took a stab at politicians who support the movement.
"Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them and saying if you don't stop this, we'll make your life more difficult. If those elected officials spent half as much time trying to promote the city and get jobs to come here, we would go a long ways towards answering the concerns of the protesters," said Bloomberg.
The mayor said he was notified by the property manager's decision to hold off on the clean sweep at midnight on Friday. The public didn't get word for seven hours after huge crowds descended downtown.
Representatives from Brookfield, the property manager, say the company delayed cleaning the area at the request of local elected officials
Some of those officials say Bloomberg should stop playing politics.
"Throw away the political rhetoric just for a couple of days and work with the elected officials and work with the other stakeholders and we will get through this. Listen, right now the whole world is watching Zuccotti Park," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Others say Bloomberg should lend an ear to the hordes settled downtown.
"The mayor has never been connected to the city. The mayor is one of the one percent, one of the billionaires who has other resources, who believes they own the city,” said City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.
The mayor said he would be monitoring the situation at Zuccotti Park over the next several days. He said his goal is to balance public safety with the first amendment.