Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg: Occupy Wall Street protesters don’t know what they want -- or what problem is

Says OWS is nothing like Vietnam protests, today's issues are complicated

Tuesday, November 22 2011, 3:46 PM

  NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg drive in the spike in the tree during the ceremony
Mariela Lombard for News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked the OWS protestors out of Zuccotti Park and now he's kicking them when they are down.

He took their gasoline, seized their tents, then had hundreds of them arrested for disorderly conduct and other offenses.

And now, Mayor Bloomberg has turned to dismissing the Occupy Wall Street protesters as a disjointed mob without a clear message.

“This is not the Vietnam era when you had 400,000 people on the Mall saying ‘let’s get out of Vietnam,’” Bloomberg told MSNBC Tuesday. “This is more a frustration kind of protest. They were chanting, ‘We don’t know what we want, but we want it now.’”

Bloomberg then went on to to suggest that the protesters are also ill-informed.

“They don’t know how to fix this,” he said. “They want their government to fix it. They don’t even know what the problem is, much less how to fix it, but they know that things aren’t working well and you see that around the world.”

The protesters do bring different points of view and a variety of causes to their movement — but they’ve never been known to chant that they don't know what they want.

Bloomberg, who made his fortune on Wall Street, has never had much sympathy for the movement. He went on to say that he understands the protesters’ frustrations.

“Partly it’s technology that’s automating repetitive jobs,” he said. “Partly it’s globalization that lets labor move to the lowest salary place, the lowest cost of labor.

“Partly it is just we’ve been overspending all around the world, monies we don't have, and now we’re going to have to pay the piper. So if you have to raise tuition in a school, the kids object to that, but somebody’s got to pay for the schools. If we have to stop some of the services, we just can’t afford them anymore, so it is a general frustration and it comes out in many ways.”

Bloomberg added that the frustration comes out in the Occupy Wall Street protests around the world -- as well as in the Tea Party protests at the other end of the political spectrum.

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