Occupy the mayor's race
This afternoon, Bill de Blasio described his candidacy for mayor as an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is celebrating its second anniversary occupying Zuccotti Park today.
“It’s a complicated movement to say the least, but the core message was we have to address inequality,” said Mr. de Blasio during an endorsement press conference on the steps of City Hall, where the drums from an anniversary march could be heard echoing from the street.
Law & Order
Headline of the Day: “Ambitious, Talented, And Twenty: And Don’t It Make Your Brunis Blue?”
Runner-Up: “Spitzer again refuses to answer point-blank question about ‘girlfriend’”
Knock knock. Who’s funny? Apparently not the mayoral candidates. The Daily News asked the contenders to share their favorite jokes on camera, and the results are entertaining, if not comic gold. Only Anthony Weiner refused to weigh in, explaining, “I’m not a very jovial guy,”
Law & Order
Occupy Wall Street doesn’t want to be associated with the young West Village couple who were allegedly busted over the weekend with a houseful of explosives, weapons and a bomb-making guide. Morgan Gliedman, 27, and Aaron Greene, 31, were arrested Saturday after police reportedly found seven grams of highly explosive HMTD powder, a flare launcher, a shotgun, ammo, rifle magazines and instructions on making bombs, including a printout entitled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,” at their home. An early report from the New York Post identified Mr. Greene as an “Occupy Wall Street activist,” but this afternoon the movement’s public relations arm said there is no evidence to support links between Mr. Greene and Occupy.
“There is nothing in the news stories to support a link between OWS and the individual arrested; his name is unfamiliar to many OWS activists,” the statement posted on the Occupy Wall Street Press Relations Working Group page said. “A very large number of people came through Zuccotti Park, and there are countless Occupy-related groups nationwide, so it is very difficult to ascertain if one person participated in anything related to OWS.”
foreseeable days! foreseeable weeks!
On Sunday, someone claiming to be affiliated with the hacker activist group Anonymous, released a two minute clip containing footage of last November’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park that they said was obtained from the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit. While the clip has widely been covered as having been “leaked” from the police, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne told Politicker the clip was ‘not ‘leaked” and may have been a combination of footage from television news cameras, public court records and even possibly from the occupiers themselves.
Rumble in Rock Center
Councilman Jumaane Williams has been a proud supporter of Occupy Wall Street since the early days of the movement last year. He proudly pins his Occupy button on his suit even for formal interviews and rather freely shouts “All day, all week! Occupy Wall Street!” when around activists. However, the Occupy movement isn’t what it once was. Notably, the crowds are far smaller while the movement’s message still remains muddled to many outside observers. We asked Mr. Williams about the state of Occupy after he hosted a press conference earlier today on voter confusion.
Law & Order
One year after it began, the Occupy movement appears to be waning, but Americans For Prosperity, the conservative economic activist group founded by the notorious Koch Brothers, held a rally near Rockefeller Plaza this morning to “stand up to Occupy Wall Street.” The event included comparisons between President Barack Obama and Fidel Castro, and several heated exchanges between the AFP contingent and Occupy Wall Street sympathizers who showed up to mock and infiltrate the rally.
According to multiple people who have been involved with planning and executing Occupy Wall Street protests the New York City Police Department targeted key organizers for arrests in advance of Monday’s Occupy anniversary demonstrations. These arrests may have prevented the movement from, for the first time, presenting a focused, single message at the center of the protests.
By this afternoon, Zuccotti Park was deserted. Approximately 12 hours after hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered in the birthplace of their movement to mark its first anniversary, the space was vacant apart from the regular afternoon crowd of office workers and construction crews, who sat on the stone benches eating their lunches.
Prior to yesterday’s anniversary celebration, the occupiers vowed to stage “mass civil disobedience around the Financial District in resistance to economic injustice.” Indeed, according to the NYPD, there were 185 arrests in conjunction with the protests. However, in spite of the mass detentions, the simple narrative that is rapidly becoming conventional wisdom in the wake of yesterday’s protests is that Occupy Wall Street is finished.
On his weekly radio show with John Gambling this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg equated two prominent movements that may not see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. The comparison came about after Mr. Bloomberg lamented the difficulty of getting Congress to do the right thing on issues like reforming immigration laws to keep international students in the United States after they graduate. He suggested the Tea Party provides a model for pressuring politicians before pivoting to discuss activist irrationality.
CHARLOTTE, NC — So far, the street protests at the Democratic National Convention seem to be much larger than anything seen at the RNC last weekin Tampa. This afternoon, streets had to be closed and checkpoints were moved when a group of protesters took to the street on Stonewall Street a couple of blocks from the site of the convention. Politicker came out to see the protests and so did Joseph Smith from Port Hueneme, California, who was wearing an “Obama” basketball jersey and said his wife was a delegate. Mr. Smith got into shouting matches with several of the protesters, many of whom were cursing the president. Mr. Smith told Politicker he thought the protesters were being “disrespectful” and he suggested the protesters, who were mostly white, were working against minorities.
“I think it’s disrespectful in general for people,” Mr. Smith. “You’re talking about Obama did this and did that. George Bush did it, Senior and Junior, but they seem to forget. … If you really want to know what it’s about, it’s black and white.”
One of the protesters bristled at this characterization and pointed the minorities in the protest group out to Mr. Smith who dismissed this by saying, “You always had Uncle Toms in slavery.”