Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet Update

While Mayor Mike Bloomberg has finally taken action to move the squatting protesters out of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, and a NY Judge has upheld the right for the private ownership of the Park and the City to define and enforce regulations which prohibit overnight camping, tents, and other structures, the OWS movement has not backed down from their protesting or threats.

OWS remains committed to shutting down the NY Stock Exchange and the Financial District tomorrow morning which could bring new confrontations between the protesters and the NYPD.  The City is bracing for 'tens of thousands' of demonstrators.  In fact, it appears that OWS has their sights on disrupting not only the Financial District but other parts of NYC, like the Brooklyn Bridge where over 800 were arrested early in the protest movement.

From the NY Post...
Organizers said they were energized by Mayor Bloomberg’s decision early to end the two-month-long camp-out at Zuccotti Park.

“We will shut down Wall Street,” a post on the movement’s Facebook page said. “We will ring the People’s Bell, and initiate a street carnival in which we rebuild and celebrate the neighborhoods that the Wall Street economy has destroyed.”

The march on Wall Street is slated to start at 7 a.m.

Other events scheduled for the day include “Occupy the Subways” in all five boroughs at 3 p.m., a takeover of Foley Square at 5 p.m. and another march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

In another NY Post article, the paper provides some additional answers as to why the Mayor finally acted early Tuesday morning to remove the OWS protesters from Zuccotti Park.

Some of the factors that affected the Mayor's decisions included"

  • Pre-empt the planned effort for November 17th to shut down the Financial District
  • Adverse comments from Wall Street officials as well as local businesses and landlords who were tiring of the disruption being caused by OWS on their businesses and tenants.  Some landlords reported tenants were contemplating breaking their leases to move away from the affects of the demonstration.
  • Concerns over the park being a firetrap and reports that demonstrators were planning on building wooden structures in order to better handle the winter weather.
  • Health concerns - reports of major outbreaks of scabies, lice, and lung ailments among the protesters in the part
But even with this list, the speculation is very strong that the straw that broke the camel's back when it came to taking action was that continued inaction towards OWS was causing significant damage to the Mayor's reputation - to the point that he was being compared to NYC Mayor Dinkins who was castigated for his mismanagement of the Crown Heights riots in 1991.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani took Mayor Bloomberg to task for his failure to act against blatant lawbreaking by the OWS protesters.  Mayor Bloomberg also saw hard left liberal Mayors in Oakland and Portland tire of the violence and crime from their local OWS protests and act before he did.

With his ego being bruised, and subject to growing complaints and grumbling even from his friends of Wall Street, the Mayor finally found the will to act.  I suspect it would have happened far earlier if the Mayor had discovered they were preparing their meals with trans fats.  Nanny Bloomberg would have demanded action.

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