Reporting Dave Carlin
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On the 20th day of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest, Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the movement. He mostly criticized the group and said their actions are hurting the economy and tourism sector.
On his weekly radio show Friday, Bloomberg said long-term chaos and a prolonged money drain are bad for the city. He said he is sympathetic to some protestor complaints, but certainly not all.
“What they’re trying to do is to take the jobs away from people working in the city. They’re trying to take away the tax base we have because none of this is good for tourism,” he said. “There’s no easy solutions here.”
The mayor continued his criticism saying “if the jobs they are trying to get rid of in this city, the people that work in finance — which is a big part of our economy — go away, we’re not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean the parks or anything else.”
However, he showed no inclination to put a stop to what has been going on.
“From a practical point of view, I think we want to let some of this not ‘play out’ isn’t quite the right word, but let them express themselves,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg Says There Aren’t Any Easy Solutions. 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Reports.
When asked if he would allow the demonstrators to stay, the mayor replied “we’ll see what happens, we’ve got to focus on making things better.”
The cramped and noisy protesters in Zuccotti Park does not appear to be going anywhere soon. To date, the occupation has cost the city an extra $2 million in police overtime alone.
The owners of the private park, Brookfield Office Properties, cannot simply eject the demonstrators because the charter for the park allows 24-hour public access. But the owners never counted on this and appear to be getting fed up.
In a statement they said “because the protestors refuse to cooperate…the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”
“They’re just making life miserable for the working guy,” bar owner Mike Keane told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
However, demonstrators insist they are being good neighbors, making an effort to be quiet in the overnight hours and cleaning up after themselves.
“The people that have been here, have been making sure to clean up. You can walk through and see, but I’ve seen multiple people sweeping,” demonstrator Michelle Rafic said.
Demonstrators have also taken issue with Mayor Bloomberg’s statements that the occupation is detrimental instead of positive.
“I think the more we talk about and get all the issues out there that need to be discussed, need to be confronted, obviously whatever we’re doing right now isn’t working. So until we figure out something that leads to a better America for everybody not just a small percentage of Americans,” Joshua Durham said.
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