Bloomberg: City Won’t Tolerate OWS Violence, Illegal Activities
On his weekly WOR radio appearance, Bloomberg said the city won’t tolerate the level violence other cities like Oakland have seen from the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“You see what happened in Oakland, 5,000 people in the streets burning, we’re not going to have that here,” Bloomberg said. “That’s not going to happen here and I want to make sure that’s not going to happen here.”
Bloomberg added that Fire Marshals go through Zuccotti Park every day looking for fire hazards and says the city won’t tolerate illegal activity, like urinating in public.
He also said if protesters want police barricades in the neighborhood to come down, they’ll have to obey the law.
“We took down the barriers all along Wall Street and the stores were happy about that. People went rushing into the streets so we put the barriers back,” he said. “Bottom line is if you don’t want the barriers, you’ll have to behave.”
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer asked demonstrators if they thought the violence at “Occupy” protests in other states could happen in the Big Apple.
“I don’t want to see that. I really don’t because that would make us not peacefully assemble, but we do have the right to defend ourselves if we get attacked for no reason,” said protester Christopher Guerra of Newark.
“We are here to behave. We are a non violent movement,” said Nicolas Demones of the South Bronx.
Bloomberg said most at Zuccotti Park are respectful, but some have bad intentions.
“People have the right to protest, they don’t have a right to destroy neighborhoods,” he said. “We’re not going to tolerate some of the things that have been going on and we’re doing something about that.”
He added anyone who thinks the city is doing nothing about the protests is wrong.
“I think we’ve gotten to the point where we have enough legitimacy to show that we can’t be pushed around by the police, the mayor or anyone else,” said Mark Bray of the “Occupy Wall Street” press team. “I’m optimistic we’ll have our right to protest continually respected and that we won’t have any violence.”
Police sources told Kramer they noticed a small group of anarchists that try to incite the protestors and that they’re keeping an eye on them.
On Thursday, Bloomberg said he was upset that the protesters don’t report crimes, like sex-related incidents, in Zuccotti Park to the police.
“It is despicable and outrageous and really allows the criminal to strike again making all of us less safe,” Bloomberg said.
Occupy Wall Street also responded to the mayor on their website, saying “Occupy Wall Street has its own well-trained internal security force, but this team does not substitute for the police when it comes to criminal activity that threatens our community or local residents.”
It goes to say “The Mayor should get his facts straight before he calls responsible citizens protecting our community ‘despicable’.”
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