Yesterday New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg alleged that Occupy Wall Street participants at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) are chasing criminals out of the park instead of reporting them to police. In reality, 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. Occupy Wall Street participants have called upon police on occasions when people with predatory intentions have come into the park and engaged in illegal and destructive behavior, and have in fact turned over criminals to the NYPD.
“Bloomberg lied yesterday when he claimed that a sexual assault suspect was merely kicked out of the park, when in fact OWS security personnel forcibly removed the individual and handed him directly to the NYPD,” said Andrew Smith, a member of OWS’s overnight Community Watch. “The Mayor should get his facts straight before he calls responsible citizens protecting our community ‘despicable.’”
The occupation at Liberty Square is a civic space, where concerned citizens are raising pressing issues facing our nation. The mayor should be lauding this renaissance of civic participation, but instead he has been consistently demonizing participants.
“Occupy Wall Street exists in a public space in a major metropolis, and of course there are problems that come with that, but we have systems and our own common sense to deal with those problems,” said Bill Dobbs, a volunteer with Occupy Wall Street. “Mayor Bloomberg is pandering to fear. What we’re seeing is a lot of effort to undermine and suppress the movement and divert from the damage the mayor and his billionaire friends are doing to the country.”