Mayor Bloomberg slanders Wall Street protest
(WSWS.org) -- by Bill Van Auken --
New York City’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, renewed his attack on the three-week-old Wall Street protest Friday, claiming that it is aimed at destroying the jobs of New Yorkers.
“What they’re trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city,” Bloomberg said in his weekly appearance on WOR radio. “They’re trying to take away the tax base we have. None of this is good for tourism.”
He added: “And if you focus for example on driving the banks out of New York City, you know those are our jobs ... You can’t have it both ways: If you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people."
Bloomberg, who has accrued a personal fortune of close to $20 billion off of his connections with Wall Street, has repeatedly attempted to deflect the issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, of social inequality and the vast accumulation of wealth by the top 1 percent, by claiming that their target is not billionaires like himself, but the lowest paid clerical, administrative and support staff in the financial industry.
As for the tax base, the billionaire mayor forcefully opposed an extension of the so-called “millionaires’ tax,” depriving the state and the city of billions of dollars in revenues by effectively cutting the tax rate for the rich. His administration has also implemented numerous tax giveaways for the financial sector.
The mayor’s remarks came amid indications that preparations are being made to force the demonstrators out of their encampment at Zuccotti Park.
The corporate owner of the park, Brookfield Office Properties, issued a statement declaring that sanitation in the park is a “growing concern.” It added: “Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight … because the protesters refuse to cooperate … the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”
To eject the demonstrators, Brookfield would have to declare them trespassers and ask the city to force them out. The company’s ties to the Bloomberg administration are extremely close. The mayor’s domestic partner, Diana Taylor, a managing director at Wolfensohn Fund Management, sits on Brookfield’s board of directors.
New York’s Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Friday defended the latest round of arrests and police brutality that occurred Wednesday night toward the end of a mass march that saw between 15,000 and 20,000 people pour through the streets of lower Manhattan.
Kelly claimed that the protesters had “attacked the police” when they tried to pass through barricades that blocked them from demonstrating on Wall Street.
“They’re going to be met with force when they do that. This is just common sense,” Kelly said.
In reality, cops responded with excessive force, pepper-spraying demonstrators and hitting them with police truncheons. Mounted cops were also brought in to intimidate the protesters.
Attorneys representing the protesters are suing over the more than 700 arrests that were made last Saturday when police trapped demonstrators after leading them onto the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters have charged that they were deliberately lured onto the bridge to provide a pretext for a mass arrest aimed at quelling the movement. The suit seeks to bar the NYPD from employing similar methods in the future and to have the arrests expunged as well unspecified damages from the City...MORE...LINK
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