Long-shot Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer blasted New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday after police tore down the nearly two-month-old “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration in Zuccotti Park.
“The mayor of New York City is standing on the wrong side of history. His actions in the midnight hours against the Occupy Wall Street protestors are unjust, uncalled for, and unconstitutional,” said Roemer in a statement on Tuesday. “The First Amendment right of assembly and speech exists to protect America from this kind of government power abuse.
“His actions will be a stain on America’s long history of peaceful assembly. I encourage Mayor Bloomberg to read a history book on America and he will see from the civil rights marches to the Vietnam protests, our young Americans have stood up to injustice and in the end were right in their action.”
Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to immediately remove their possessions from the park. The letter claimed that the demonstration posed a health and fire safety hazard, and the park needed to be cleared for cleaning.
Roemer questioned if it was necessary to clean the area by evict the protesters using hundreds of police.
“These young people of Occupy Wall Street have my total support,” he added. “I have walked among them and listened. I support, with my actions, their contention that something smells of corruption in America when the few who give large sums of money to politicians receive special favors in return, while the average citizen is foreclosed-on and forgotten. They are asking questions about injustice, and special-interest control, and institutional corruption that need to be asked, that must be asked in a nation headed in the wrong direction.”
As part of his presidential campaign, Roemer has stressed the need for campaign finance reform. He has vowed to only accept campaign contributions under $100.
Roemer was a Democrat until 1991, when he switched the Republican Party. He was the governor of Louisiana from 1988 to 1992.
“The actions of the city today have confirmed the young peoples’ worst fears about the establishment: They will not listen,” Roemer said. “After all, the establishment is safely protected in the tower of the top 1 percent.”
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore