Bloomberg tells ‘Occupy Wall Street’ to lay off banks
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday pushed back at the Occupy Wall Street protesters that have been inhabiting a park in lower Manhattan for nearly three weeks, saying that their aims were contradictory.
The protesters crowding Liberty Square said they are against corporate greed, and aim their demonstration at the finance sector, the so-called “1 percent.” A popular slogan among protesters is “We are the 99 percent,” referencing the imbalance of wealth in the country.
Bloomberg, however, said on his radio show Friday morning that the finance sector and corporate world were the providers of jobs. According to the Village Voice he went on to say that targeting them was counterproductive to the cause of economic injustice.
“Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic,” Bloomberg said. “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.”
“The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city aren’t productive,” he said.
The Occupy Wall Street protest in New York is now on its 20th continuous day. The protest has inspired activism in more than 100 other cities across the U.S.
Asked whether he would attempt to shut down the protest, now on the brink of the three-week mark, Bloomberg hedged.
“We are trying to deal with this in a way that doesn’t make the problem grow and protects everybody’s rights,” he said. “We’re trying to…let them express themselves.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons.