New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday that the Occupy Wall Street protesters were "trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city," firing what the Village Voice called a "warning shot at the city unions who've backed the Occupied Wall Street protests" by referring to the dwindling city coffers that depend on Wall Street tax revenue. "We're not going to have money to pay our municipal employees," he said in his weekly radio appearance with John Gambling. The Voice's Harry Siegel adds that Bloomberg said:
"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 language suggests a PR offensive on the part of City Hall to try to drive a wedge between the powerful unions such as Transport Workers Local 100 that have marched in solidarity with the Wall Street protesters. The mayor has expressed vague opposition to the protesters and their message. He said of the unions, "their salaries come from -- are paid by -- some of the people they're trying to vilify." Also on Friday, DNAinfo reported the protests had cost the New York Police Department $2 million in overtime.
The mayor has signaled the protesters don't have an open-ended invitation to camp in Zuccotti Park, but the city doesn't directly have authority to kick them out of the privately-owned open space. However, John Zuccotti, the park's namesake and the U.S. chairman of Brookfield Office Properties, which owns the park, has signaled the company would take its cue from the city, and Bloomberg's domestic partner, Diana Taylor, sits on Brookfield's board of directors.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.