Our Harry Siegel, who has been in Zuccotti Park since 9:00 PM last night, just phoned in to pose this question: "Does anyone really think this was Brookfield's decision?"
After a night of pouring rain with unrelenting thunder and lightening (is Mayor Bloomberg wealthy enough to own one of those Bond-villain-style weather machines?), the moment of confrontation between the NYPD and the protestors camped out in Zuccotti Park is approaching. Our Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) has been there since the soaked wee hours, joined now by Nick Pinto (@macfathom) and Rosie Gray (@_rosiegray). We'll be updating from their on-the-scene reporting and breaking news as it happens.
Via Twitter/@LucyKafanov A camped out protester waking up others as police arrive
Yesterday at noon, protesters gathered at 59th Street and 5th Avenue (just across the street from the Plaza Hotel) for the Billionaire's March, a picket of the homes of five of New York's richest men: Rupert Murdoch, David Koch, Howard Milstein, Jamie Dimon, and John Paulson. Separate from yet in the same vein as Occupy Wall Street, the Billionaire's March protested a proposed tax cut for New York's wealthy residents. At each home, protesters would symbolically present each billionaire with a (fake!) check for five billion dollars from the "99 percent" -- five billion dollars being the number they say the rich will gain from tax cuts at the end of this year.
A wave of reports "exposing" the secret liberal money behind the Wall Street occupation has been cresting over the right-wing blogosphere, which has been at a loss to explain how a movement of dumb dirty hippies has managed to build up attention and support rather than explode or fade away. The answer: cunning financier George Soros and his allies must be paying the bills and pulling the strings.
Mayor Bloomberg fired a warning shot Friday at the city unions who have backed the Occupied Wall Street protests, saying "we're not going to have money to pay our municipal employees" if the financial sector takes a hit and New York's tax take goes down with it.
At the tail end of last night's Occupy Wall Street march from Foley Square to Zuccotti Park with major unions (and a guest appearance from Michael Moore), the facilitator of the Zuccotti rally announced a march on Wall Street. As it turned out, it was an unauthorized march, as we discovered when we reached the corner of Broadway and Wall to meet a line of police pulled from every precinct in the city blocking the way with orange kettling nets and then metal barriers. The situation stayed at a standstill -- but not for long. According to Occupy Wall Street, 27 or 28 people were arrested last night; we're still waiting on the police estimate. [Update: City Room reports that the NYPD puts the number at 23.]
Rosie Gray A protester being arrested after a failed march on Wall Street.
A second City Council member has now come out with claims of bad treatment by rank-and-files police officers at a parade. In a remarkable letter sent today to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's office and with Speaker Christine Quinn's office copied, Upper West Side Dem. Gale Brewer recounts her own "recent experience with a belligerent and over-reactive officer" at the Gay Pride Parade in June.More »
Just being there was humbling. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and the city's wealthiest citizen, sat in criminal court answering a hot series of questions about shady political maneuvers and the corrupting influence of money, two frequent subjects of his political contempt.
Bloomberg, who can be famously testy when questioned, kept his composure on the stand, but despite staying on script his testimony was politically devastating - exposing the mayor's magical thinking, in which money corrupts, except for his money; and politics corrupt, except for his politics.More »
New Yorkers need "to help the banks" was Mayor Michael Bloomberg's message to the Occupy Wall Street crowd in his weekly radio appearance on the John Gambling show.
"The protesters are protesting against people who make $40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That's the bottom line," Bloomberg said, presumably meaning service workers on Wall Street, adding that "we all" share blame for taking on too much risk, not just the financial industry.More »