Yeah…this happened tonight. Via Allison Kilkenny and “In These Times”.
Ever since protesters first took Liberty Square back in September, they’ve been discussing when Mayor Bloomberg would make the move to raid the camp. The general consensus has always been the mayor would dispatch the NYPD in the middle of the night, and in the early hours of Tuesday, that prediction proved correct.
Mere days away from the two-month anniversary of the occupation, the NYPD lowered the hammer and completely dismantled the encampment, throwing away every scrap of Occupy gear, including around five thousand books from the group’s library, and arresting around 70 people (note: this is an early report and arrest numbers will almost certainly change).
Hundreds of officers cleared the square under the guise of a “clear and restore” campaign that would eventually permit the demonstrators to return after the cleaning. Occupiers obviously had a difficult time swallowing that line as they watched the camping equipment that had become their homes over the past two months heaped into the back of sanitation trucks.
Bloomberg has once again shown his true colors with this maneuver and they are a runny brown.
He has however, made the classic error in assuming that an aggressive move like this could break the protesters spirit.
He is sadly mistaken.
Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland has tried the same tactics in Oakland and all it’s gotten her is a boatload of bad press and the loss of her legal adviser and her deputy mayor. (With the latter showing up on “Countdown” to denounce her actions.
What will more than likely happen is that the city will find itself up to it’s eyeballs in Civil Suits.
The LiveStream footage from the raids will leakout, driving Bloomberg’s approval numbers into the ground.
And after all that, the protesters will return. And in greater numbers.
This is not a protest, this is a wave.
And unless Bloomberg gets himself a surfboard, he’s gonna find his ass swamped.