Mayor Bloomberg expressed his frustration towards city officials who spent their time "intimidating" Brookfield Properties from going through with their threatened clean-up of Zuccotti Park on Friday.
Speaking on his weekly radio show, Bloomberg suggested that officials were wasting their time:
If those elected officials had spent half as much time trying to promote the city to get jobs to come here we would a lot more ways towards answering the concerns of the protestors.
Brookfield, which owns the park protestors have called home for the past several weeks, recently wrote a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to help clean the area. Brookfield wrote that the park "continues to worsen and we need your assistance to ensure public safety" and protestors needed to start following "the rules which include: no tarps
or sleeping bags and no lying down."
Protestors and city officials believed the temporary eviction to be a euphemistic ploy to subsequently cease demonstrations for good. An outpouring from city officials including Brooklyn lawmaker Charles Barron erupted in defense of the protests. Barron spoke at Zuccotti Park and took a swipe at the Mayor:
We are saying to the mayor, you want to clean up something, clean up these crooks on Wall Street...This is beginning of a movement, and y’all may not want to hear this, but this is how revolution starts. I’m asking the mayor to at least pretend he cares about the 99 percent. To at least pretend he cares about those in poverty. To at least pretend to care about those who are not as rich as he is. Because he will jump at the opportunity to talk to the 1% but refuse the opportunity to the 99 percent. And all he wants to do is to lie to them…hopefully you will be remembered for something other than for dismantling democracy in New York City.
Starting Thursday, protestors began cleaning the park so that the city wouldn't interfere with demonstrations. Civil liberty defenders and lawyers came out in defense of protestors who insisted that rules had been consistently adhered to and that trash had been routinely bagged. Even hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons stepped up by offering to pay for cleanup expenses in order to avoid the violence that was predicted to occur if protestors were indeed kicked out.
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